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The Leelanau Conservancy, in partnership with both the Lime Lake and Little Traverse Lake Associations along with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Leelanau Conservation District developed a Good Harbor Bay Watershed Protection Plan in 2015.


Good Harbor Bay’s watershed includes Lime Lake (Kasson and Cleveland townships); Little Traverse Lake (Cleveland Township); School, Bass and Shell Lakes (Cleveland and Glen Arbor townships); and the area that flows directly into the Good Harbor Bay.

Lime Creek Leelanau County Michigan

Good Harbor Watershed Plan Purpose

  • The prevention of water pollution and water quality degradation.

  • The conservation of natural shore land areas.

  • Conservation of watershed hydrology by managing storm-water to protect the natural hydrology regimen, especially as it relates to the quantity of runoff versus infiltration and groundwater recharge.

  • Protection against the negative impacts of nutrient loading, erosion, and storm-water runoff.


Maintain Your Septic System

Septic tanks and fields should be inspected every one to three 3 years. High water levels will compromise lower lying tanks and fields. There should be a minimum of four feet below drain fields to the top of the water table. If not working properly septic systems can leach nutrients and sewage into the lake.

Man Holding Septic Pipe
Shoreline buffer Lime Lake

Maintain a Natural Shoreline Buffer

The primary purpose of a buffer (greenbelt) at the shoreline is to protect the property from erosion. Erosion may result in loss of shoreline property and increased sediment in the water – leading to poor water quality. Native plants have the added benefit of being easy to maintain and they support a variety of wildlife including turtles, fish, birds and pollinators.

Eliminate Fertilizers and Pesticides

Pump lake water into your irrigation system to irrigate and “fertilize” your lawn and  landscape plants instead of applying chemicals. The lake water will naturally contain nitrogen and phosphates for your plants and lawn. If you are still considering using fertilizers, "find out more" first.

Lawn Sprinkler Abstract
Autumn River Leaves

Safeguarding Lake Health: Responsible Choices and Practices

Please remember to never let soaps, cleaners, or any type of chemicals drain into the lake. When filling gas tanks, exercise caution to prevent accidental spills. Refrain from raking leaves directly into the water, as they introduce nutrients that can adversely impact water quality. Join us in our commitment to preserving the natural splendor of our waters.

Become a Michigan Shoreland Steward

The Michigan Shoreland Stewards Program provides recognition for lakefront property owners who are protecting inland lakes through best management practices on their property. These individuals exemplify responsible land management practices that minimize runoff, erosion, and pollution, ensuring the long-term health and vitality of our lakes.

Lime Lake Boat House, Leelanau County Michigan
Lime Creek, Leelanau County Michigan

Learn More About Lake Ecology

We invite you to discover "Introduction to Lakes" an online course offered by MSU extension that is designed for concerned citizens, decision makers, local leaders, and lakefront property owners interested in gaining knowledge about inland lakes. Explore water quality, aquatic organisms, and environmental factors. Visit the official course page for more information. 

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