Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

7500 Odawa Circle
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
231.242.1400 / 1.866.652.5822

Environmental Services Program

Surface Water

The LTBB Surface Water Quality Protection Program (SWQPP) was established in 1999. Activities implemented within the program are to ensure the sustainment, protection, and/or prevention of the degradation of LTBB waters. The SWQPP is funded through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 106 Clean Water Act.  Proposals must be submitted every other year and approved by EPA to secure these funds to run the program. The main goal of the program for the first ten years was to collect baseline data to assess current water quality conditions in LTBB waters. This goal was completed in 2010 and the results of this assessment were used to reevaluate the structure of the monitoring design and all other components within the program. There are three main objectives within the SWQPP; continue monitoring Tribal waters, education and outreach, and local, state, tribal and/or national representation of LTBB on workgroups or in meetings pertaining to surface water.

Water quality monitoring includes the collection of chemical, biological, and physical data. Most waters are monitored on a seasonal basis with the exception of Van and Susan Creeks as well as some of the baseline sites. However, waters are either monitored every year, every other year, or every three years. Below is a map with site locations of water bodies being monitored throughout 2014.

LTBB 2014 Water Quality Monitoring Map

The SWQPP knows the importance of providing education and outreach on water quality and linking it to the Odawa culture.  This is the reason why the SWQPP offers education and outreach to the local and Tribal communities. We have and are willing to collaborate with other LTBB Departments, local organizations, and/or units of government that share the same goals. Some of our recent educational collaborations include partners such as the LTBB Education Department, LTBB Archives and Records Department, Getting Kids Outdoors, Bliss Township Library, Leadership Little Traverse, Experience Lake Charlevoix, and Raven Hill Discovery Center. We also provide learning opportunities to the Youth Conservation Corps and summer interns. Youth programs are of high priority in order to increase interest in the environmental and natural resource fields for the future. However, we are available for education and outreach programs for any age group and can tailor the experience as needed.

LTBB Environmental Staff participate in various workgroups and meetings based on the environmental topics being discussed. The SWQPP staff stays up to date on water quality technology and issues by participating in trainings and conferences that strengthen our knowledge and skills to complete our water quality goals. Some of these trainings and or conferences completed or to be completed include freshwater mussel identification, the Regional Tribal Operations Committee (RTOC), aquatic insects and non-insects class, numerous EPA sponsored webinars, aquatic plants mini-course, Tribal Water Quality Standards Academy, Region 5 State and Tribal Wetlands meeting, and the Region 5 Wild Rice Database Project. Locally, the SWQPP staff participate in Lake Charlevoix and Little Traverse Bay Watershed Workgroups and Water and Air Team of Charlevoix County (WATCH, Inc.).

A recent accomplishment of the SWQPP is the installation of a boat washing station at Paradise Lake. The project was funded by EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and includes the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the Paradise Lake Improvement Board (PLIB) as partners. The boat wash will reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species, while promotional and educational materials provide outreach to the public. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for this community-based effort on June 7, 2013.

Above: Paradise Lake Pilot Boat Washing Station located on Paradise Trail at the Public Access, Boat Wash and Launch.

To view all water bodies that have been or are currently being monitored by the Surface Water Quality Protection Program click here..

Surface Water Quality Protection Program Brochure

The results from chemical and nutrient analysis of water samples can be found on EPA’s STORET website, a repository and framework for sharing water monitoring data. To find chemical and nutrient data collected by the SWQPP program, follow these steps:

  1. Go to:
  2. Click on your watershed on the map (Cheboygan or Lake Michigan)
  3. Click on “water quality monitoring data from this watershed (Provided by STORET)”
  4. Scroll down to find “Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians” under “Organization Name.” Click on “Get Results.” Use the query form to select the data you want.

The data stored on STORET is not all-inclusive; more data, trend analyses, and current water quality assessment reports can be requested by contacting the SWQPP directly.
If you have any questions about any of these activities or would like further information please contact
either Kira Davis, LTBB Water Quality Specialist at (231) 242-1572 or or 
Caroline Keson; LTBB Water Quality Assistant at (231) 242-1577 or

Above Left: Kira Davis performs measurements on Five Mile Creek using a Hydrolab multi-parameter meter. The meter collects data on temperature, conductivity, pH, depth, and dissolved oxygen. Above right: Releasing the catch on an Eckman dredge, Caroline Keson collects macroinvertebrates on Walloon Lake.




Government Center
7500 Odawa Circle
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
© 2014 Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians