Resources for Lake Michigan Academy Presentation
Planner's Guide to Wetland Buffers for Local Governments by The Environmental Law Institute
Urban Build-Out and Stormwater BMP Analysis in the Paw Paw River Watershed A report estimating pollutant load changes with increased urbanization in the PPRW.
A report completd by MDEQ (aso called a Landscape Level Wetland Functional Assessment).
The PPRW Land Protection Committee assisted the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC) in the development of a model used to map critical areas for preservation.
Southwest Michigan - Potential Conservation Areas
The mapping effort also includes identifying Potential Conservation Areas. These maps were developed by Michigan Natural Features Inventory.
- Potential Area Conservation Areas in Berrien County
- Potential Area Conservation Areas in Cass County
- Potential Area Conservation Areas in Van Buren County
A report explaining the criteria and methodology used to create these maps can be downloaded by clicking here:
Master plans should:
- Identify water and natural resources in the municipality
- State the value of the water and natural resources to the community
- Target development to the most appropriate areas
- List specific actions or policies to protect water quality and natural resources
Basic planning and zoning approaches that will help to protect water quality include:
- preserving open spaces by encouraging compact development in areas with existing infrastructure
- enacting water quality protection setbacks from surface waterbodies (rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands)
- reducing impervious surfaces (parking lots, driveways, roads, lot setbacks, lot coverage)
- requiring low impact development techniques to be utilized to reduce runoff and slow water down, spread it out and soak it in as much as possible
- ensuring the site plan review process requires the identification of natural features on site plans and having review standards which require their protection
- clustering development to reduce impervious surfaces and protect open spaces and environmentally sensitive areas
- requiring the use of native plants species to increase infiltration of stormwater
- limiting growth in areas where soils are not suitable for septic systems