The Macatawa Watershed covers about 175 square miles of land. It includes all the land that drains to Lake Macatawa. Click here for a map of the watershed.

Macatawa Watershed aerial photoLake Macatawa has too much phosphorus. Phosphorus is a naturally occurring element that is present in soil, animal waste and fertilizer. Too much phosphorus can cause too many plants to grow in the water. Decaying plants used up oxygen, making it less available for fish. All of this leads to an unhealthy lake that cannot support fish.

View our 2017 Annual Report to see the accomplishments of the past year.

Read our 2017 TMDL Annual Report to learn about the progress of phosphorous reduction in Lake Macatawa

History of the Macatawa Watershed Project

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) in 1999. The USEPA approved the Lake Macatawa Phosphorus TMDL 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.

The MACC, the MDEQ and point source dischargers signed a cooperative agreement in October 2000 to show our commitment to meet this goal. 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. The members of the MACC updated and reaffirmed the agreement in 2010, demonstrating their strong support for the Macatawa Watershed Project. The current version of the voluntary agreement can be found here.