Original paper

An environmental assessment of an impacted, urbanized watershed: the Mona Lake Watershed, Michigan

Steinman, Alan; Rediske, Rick; Denning, Rod; Nemeth, Lori; Chu, Xuefeng; Uzarski, Don; Biddanda, Bopi; Luttenton, Mark


The ecological health and integrity of watersheds throughout the world are being threatened by a variety of stressors. Often, restoration practices focus on single problems whereas comprehensive, multidisciplinary approaches are needed to address both the symptoms and underlying causes of impairment. A comprehensive assessment of a small, urbanized watershed in west Michigan, USA was conducted to evaluate the major stressors in the system. This assessment approach for the Mona Lake watershed included analyses of land use/land cover change, water quality in both the major surface inflows and the receiving water body, and toxic inputs into a major inflow. Because these issues are common to many watersheds, we developed a conceptual model that spatially links these stressors and predicted impacts, allowing us to assess them in a comprehensive manner. Based on our results, we generated a set of recommendations targeted for specific source or problem areas. This approach can be applied to other watersheds.


eutrophicationnonpoint source pollutionwatershed managementcontaminated sedimentsmona lakemichigan