Goals and Objectives

  • The water quality program is designed to monitor Reservation surface water quality. This will lead to the development of designated uses for water bodies and Tribal water quality standards.
  • The Clean Water Act (CWA) authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide financial assistance for water quality planning and management to Indian Tribes under Section 106. The LRBOI base water quality program is funded mainly through U.S. EPA Clean Water Act Section 106 grants. Additional projects are funded through other grant opportunities and Tribal funds.

Baseline Monitoring in the 1836 Reservation

Biological Monitoring

Monitoring for aquatic insects and fish communities allows the Tribe to assess ecosystem health.  Biological communities can tell us about general water quality because they are sensitive to change.  Certain species can thrive in degraded waters and others need high quality pristine conditions.  Depending on what species we find, we can determine the quality and health of the system.

Specimen Viewer
Invasives Report
New Zeeland Mud Snail – Tippy Dam Pond

Nutrient and Chemical Monitoring

Basic sampling occurs seasonally to determine trends and shifts in water chemistry. Water cycles can alter nutrient dynamics and it is important to know what is a trend and what is a warning sign of impaired water. Long-term seasonal sampling will give us the ability to tease out trends as well as notice indicators of a problem.

Habitat Assessments

Yearly habitat assessments are completed at fixed stations to watch for trends. These assessments are also used to monitor improvements or restoration projects that are ongoing in the watershed. Habitat assessments look at stream bank health as well as in stream structure and sediment composition. This helps us determine the quality of habitat for macroinvertebrates, fish and wildlife.

Study Sites

Sickle Cr, Bear Cr, Pine Cr, Oldhouse Cr, Big Manistee River, Manistee Lake, and Tippy Dam Pond

Watershed Restoration

In 2003, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Targeted Watershed Initiative grant to aggressively address problems in the Manistee River Watershed.  This five-year grant served as an impetus for a large-scale partnership that has resulted in over $1,000,000 being spent on project planning, restoration implementation, and monitoring.

Fish Tissue Testing*
*In partnership with Inland Fisheries

The water quality program and the inland fishery program are working collaboratively to monitor for Mercury, PCB’s, and pesticides that are a known problem. This testing will allow us to inform those consuming fish what species, size ranges and quantities are the safest. We will be focusing on species that have not been tested by other agencies.  Click here for a guide to fish consumption levels for specific lakes.  Testing Completed on: Tippy Dam Pond, Manistee Lake, and Big Manistee River.

Water Quality Informative Links