Small Grant Case Studies

The Lake Michigan Watershed Academy provides Regional Planning Organizations with the opportunity to share their work, experience, and ideas on regional issues of importance to Lake Michigan and the Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP). Regional Planning Organizations play a key role in protecting the environment and are integral in creating large scale visions for their areas. A primary objective of the Lake Michigan Watershed Academy is to provide peer-to-peer learning to shape, learn, and collaborate on programs, projects, and communications that improve the environmental quality of Lake Michigan. As a result, Regional Planning Organizations are better equipped to conduct outreach and distribute information to local constituencies and make planning decisions that improve the ecosystem health of Lake Michigan.

Members of the Lake Michigan Watershed Academy have access to a small grants programs to implement a project and share their work outcomes. The projects will help encourage knowledge transfer through the peer network of the established Regional Planning Commissions throughout the Lake Michigan basin. These case studies provide in-depth detail on a local project implemented by the members of the Lake Michigan Watershed Academy.

Click on the titles below to access the case studies.


Groundwater Recharge Modeling in East Central Wisconsin

East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

The East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission partnered with the Wisconsin Geologic and Natural History Survey (WGNHS) to complete groundwater recharge modeling for three of the seven counties within East Central’s Study Area within the Lake Michigan Basin.




Lake Michigan Water Trail (Wisconsin)

Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission

The Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission (Bay-Lake RPC) is working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program (WCMP), and the National Park Service (NPS) - Rivers,  Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program to develop a Lake Michigan water trail network in Wisconsin that provides  kayakers and boaters with public water access locations, and other useful information along Lake Michigan.



Muskegon County Green Infrastructure Inventory

West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission

The Muskegon County Green Infrastructure Inventory is based on a recommendation of Muskegon County’s comprehensive land use plan titled the Muskegon Area-wide Plan (MAP). The MAP involves citizens in a shared vision to plan the future of Muskegon County. It contains five vision areas: Natural Resources, Open Space and Environment; Land Use and Growth; Economy and Jobs; Infrastructure; and Quality of Life. The MAP calls for the development of a comprehensive green infrastructure plan.




New Designs for Growth Green Infrastructure Project

Northwest Michigan Council of Governments

The Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (NWMCOG), the ten county regional planning agency created and  administered the Green Infrastructure: Incorporating Natural Resource Assets into Infrastructure Planning project under the Lake Michigan Watershed Academy Program which was funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency.




Riparian Corridor Guidance Expansion and Refinement

Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

This project of the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) was designed to positively impact watershed management, including the protection and improvement of Lake Michigan, through sound riparian corridor guidance. Expansion and refinement of guidance was undertaken for retrofitting, placement, or removal of riparian infrastructure, such as dams and road crossings, to balance transportation, recreation, aesthetic, property value, and environmental considerations.




Targeting Wetland Protection and Restoration Efforts in the St. Joseph River Watershed

Southwest Michigan Planning Commission

This project will advance wetland protection and restoration efforts in the watershed by fostering the development and coordination of a bi-state Wetland Partnership and targeting outreach efforts to landowners and municipalities. The project will help establish a comprehensive process to identify and evaluate wetland functions. This information will be combined with other criteria to prioritize wetlands so limited resources can be used more efficiently.




Zoning Ordinance Amendment Template for Reduction of Imperviousness

Southcentral Michigan Planning Council

The project involves development of a systematic approach for the review of municipal land use regulations (zoning ordinances) for the purpose of developing recommendations for the reduction of the incidence of imperviousness.

Member Projects

Watershed Academy participants work on a number of projects.

Mr. Rand Bowman

Development of land use regulations to minmize imperviousness; Reduction … Read More

Ms. Marcy Colclough

Developing master plan and zoning ordinance language for watershed manageme… Read More

Ms. Kathy Evans

The restoration of coastal habitats, the cleanup of legacy pollution and th… Read More

Mr. Michael Hahn

A recent update to the regional water quality management plan for the great… Read More

Ms. Kathy Luther

As the regional planning commission we are engaged in a comprehensive regio… Read More

Ms. Patty O'Donnell

Facilitate and coordinate three Michigan designated Heritage Route Committe… Read More

Ms. Angela Pierce

- Mapping environmental corridors and provide outreach on the benefits of p… Read More

Mr. Todd Verboomen

East Central is in the process of completing (phase I) of a groundwater rec… Read More