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Page 5 - Spring Lake Watershed Facts

The water of Spring Lake comes from springs, streams, precipitation, and storm water runoff by storm drain outfalls and overland flow.  Beginning in Sullivan Township, Norris Creek is the largest stream, flowing into Spring Lake just south of Fruitport Village.  The lake is connected to Lake Michigan via the Grand River. 

Spring Lake is a drowned river-mouth lake with 23 miles of shoreline.  It is a nutrient-rich lake with an abundance of both nitrogen and phosphorus, which has supported algae blooms of Microcystis the past few years. 

Most nutrients, soil, and pollutants get into the lake through streams, runoff, and inputs directly into the lake such as from leaching septic systems and lawn fertilizers.  To reduce these unwanted substances, everyone in the watershed needs to learn how to minimize their potential impacts on water quality. 

The watershed includes portions of 11 different municipalities: Fruitport, Sullivan, Spring Lake, Moorland, Egelston, Crockery and Ravenna Townships, Fruitport and Spring Lake Villages, and the cities of Ferrysburg and Norton Shores.  Five of the municipalities benefit directly from the shoreline uses of the lake and are riparian entities: Spring Lake Township, the Village of Spring Lake, Fruitport Township, the Village of Fruitport and the City of Ferrysburg.

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Land uses within the watershed are reflected within the water quality of Spring Lake.  Forested land is still the largest percentage of land use in the watershed (47%).  Residential areas in the watershed are 15% and cropland is 14%.  Large losses of forested land will impact the lake by degrading its water quality. 

Information from: "Can the Big Bayou be Saved? Water Quality
Assessment and Management Recommendations for the
Spring Lake Watershed, Ottawa and Muskegon Counties, MI."
Lauber, T., 1999, Master's Degree Thesis, Michigan State University.

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