Northeastern Watersheds Management Plan


This Watershed Management Plan (WMP) was developed for the purposes of fulfilling Phase II storm water requirements for local public entities and to provide a comprehensive storm water management plan that will improve and protect water quality across the land area known as St. Clair County’s Northeastern Watersheds (NEW). This plan is a comprehensive document that describes the status and conditions of the NEW, sets appropriate goals and objectives, and describes specific actions that will be used to protect, restore, and enhance the unique and valuable natural and fisheries resources in the watersheds.

The NEW Watershed Management Plan specifically describes the following:

  • Current health status and conditions of waterways
  • Goals and objectives for storm water and land use management
  • Recommended management actions that will meet the WMP’s goals and objectives
  • Actions that each Phase II entity will be implementing in the next two to five years
  • Actions that each Phase II entity wishes to implement but does not have the resources to implement at this time
  • Actions that will assess the condition of waterways and evaluate the storm water and land use management activities being implemented
  • Strategies to sustain the planning and implementation process

Currently pollution from diffuse sources or “nonpoint sources” is the most significant pollution problem for our nation’s waterways, including sediment, excessive nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and heavy metals. In order to address these sources of pollution, in 2003 the EPA mandated all public entities, having jurisdiction over property within “urbanized areas”, to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Storm Water Permit. This permit requires the prevention and mitigation of nonpoint pollution sources and requires development of a storm water management. In Michigan a unique option was proposed that would fulfill the EPA requirements and encourage cooperation and sharing of resources among permittees. This option, commonly called the “Watershed Permit”, requires permittees to develop a cooperative Watershed Management Plan in lieu of separate storm water management plans. To develop this WMP, governmental entities in the NEW formed St. Clair County’s Northeastern Watersheds Advisory Group (NEW WAG).

Ultimately, the attainment of the goals and objectives of this Watershed Management Plan will be accomplished through a process of adaptive management. In other words, as changes in the watershed occur and programs and projects/practices are assessed as to their effectiveness, strategies to attain the watershed goals and objectives are likely to change over time. The overall goal is for watershed planning and implementation to become self-sustaining with increased initiative and participation from stakeholders over time.