Water Quality

Ottawa County is uniquely located in an area of Michigan where we have a front-row seat to many of our state’s loveliest bodies of water. From the smaller Pigeon River to the great Lake Michigan, water surrounds us. The importance of maintaining the health of these ecosystems cannot be understated. By improving and protecting our water quality in our county, we can ensure adequate habitat for wildlife, clean water to fish, boat, and swim in, and ensure safe drinking water is available for all. We all depend on water for a plethora of different needs, and it is critical we are constantly working to improve water quality.

Here at Ottawa Conservation District almost all our work is tied to water quality. We currently work to write, maintain, and administer the recommendations from watershed management plans to address nonpoint source pollutants such as sediment, bacteria, and excess nutrients. Much of our work on these plans revolve around working closely with the robust agricultural industry in the county to improve farm management practices to have a direct and positive impact on water quality. Our invasive species and native plant programs directly impact the land surrounding our waterways, and thus improve habitat for wildlife and fish. Below you can explore just a few of the programs we have to improve water quality!

Watershed Restoration

These programs offer cost-share for best management practices and septic system repair or replacement in the Bass River, Deer Creek, Sand Creek, and Crockery Creek watersheds.

Pigeon River Watershed Management Plan

By completing a Watershed Management Plan for the Pigeon River, it will aid in gaining funding for future restoration efforts.  


The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is a confidential, no-pressure program that offers well water testing and assists producers in protecting natural resources. 

If we did not take an active role in improving water quality residents, business, and farmers alike would also suffer consequences. We depend on clean water for drinking, fishing, boating, swimming, and irrigating. Our county is an especially attractive tourist destination in summer largely due to our sandy beaches and beautiful nature waterways. Caring for these resources is imperative if we wish to keep our local economy and businesses humming.