The Macatawa Watershed covers about 175 square miles of land and includes of all the land that drains to Lake Macatawa: all or part of Laketown, Fillmore, Overisel, Holland, Park, Zeeland, Port Sheldon, Olive, and Blendon Townships and the cities of Holland and Zeeland.
Lake Macatawa has too much phosphorus, a naturally occurring element that is present in fertilizer, animal waste and soils. Too much phosphorus causes too many plants to grow in the water. When plants decay, oxygen is used up and not available for fish. All of this leads to an unhealthy lake that cannot support fish.
To view the progress of phosphorous reduction in Lake Macatawa please read our 2015 Annual Report.
For a map of the watershed click here.
In 1999, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) submitted a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for phosphorus in Lake Macatawa to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The Lake Macatawa Phosphorus TMDL was approved by the USEPA in April 2000. The TMDL mandates a reduction in the amount of phosphorus entering Lake Macatawa from 138,500 lbs per year (1997 level) to 55,000 lbs per year.
In October of 2000, a cooperative agreement was signed by the MACC, the MDEQ and point source polluters to meet this commitment. The cities of Holland and Zeeland, and the townships of Holland, Zeeland, Fillmore, Laketown, and Park are partners in the Macatawa Watershed Phosphorus Reduction Loading Agreement. In 2010, the agreement was updated and reaffirmed by the members of the MACC, demonstrating their strong support for the Macatawa Watershed Project. The current version of the voluntary agreement can be found here.