Current News for June 4, 2015

Our annual Bear Lake Watershed Alliance Banquet FUNdraiser will be held on Saturday, June 27 at the Fallen Timbers just East of Honor starting at 5:30 P. M. There will be good food, good fun, a silent auction and dancing.  Please download the brochure below for more details.  

                          2015 Banquet Fundraiser

Current News For October 20, 2014

Our volunteer leader of the project for Bear Lake area storm drains is Dick Graham and he just updated the status of the project.  This is one of the most important issues we face as the system is old and could be a threat to our water quality.  Please click on the report below or go to the Action Reports tab, Goals page and select 2A 10.17.14 for the most current update.
                                             2A 10.17.14

Current News For September 6, 2014

2014 Bear Lake Ecoli Sampling
The 2014 Bear Lake ecoli sampling results provided by the State of Michigan Department of Health – District 10 (office in Manistee) have been completed. The levels detected continue to show that it is safe to have body contact in Bear Lake.  Below are the 2014 results.

                                                                                                 2014 Bear Lake Ecoli Report

Storm Drain System Surrounding Bear Lake
The storm drain system mapping on Linderman Road was completed.

A team of experts including Rob Carson, Manistee County Planning Director, Pat Bentley, Project Surveyor for the Spicer Group, and Dick Graham, the Bear Lake Watershed Alliance Storm Drain Chairperson, mapped the entire Linderman Rd. network of drains.

This is but the first of many storm drain systems that empty into Bear Lake.  Mapping the drains is necessary before a full drainage system analysis can begin.  Eventually, all the storm drain networks will be mapped and analyzed to their effectiveness.  The goal is to protect and preserve the water quality of Bear Lake and the mapping will show where to respond in the event of a hazardous spill into the system, and should provide low cost practices to minimize pollution, erosion, and flooding.

BLWA has submitted an application for a state grant to perform the complete system analysis.  Improving the existing community storm drains is a major on-going project undertaken by BLWA.

News of July 23, 2014

Does Bear Creek Have Mussels?

The Manistee County manager responsible for community efforts to control invasive species, Kirsten Sheffield, has received reports that there are mussels in Bear Creek. She would like to perform a study and needs your help to direct her to locations in Bear Creek where mussels have been spotted. Please send an email to Kirsten ( if you know of any stretches or certain places in Bear Creek where mussels have been detected.

2014 Annual Meeting Minutes for the Bear Lake Watershed Alliance (BLWA)

The BLWA held it's Annual Meeting last Saturday, July 19 in Bear Lake. Minutes of the meeting are posted below. The status of dealing with the storm water drains that flow into Bear Lake was a key issue addressed at the meeting. The minutes provide a very helpful overview of the discussion.
News of July 14, 2014

The 2014 Interim Report on the progress of implementing the Greater Bear
Watershed Management Plan has been completed and available at the link below.

2014 interim report

News of July 2, 2014

All details are now complete for our annual Bear Lake Watershed Alliance FUNdraiser banquet to be held on August 9. It is a great opportunity to visit with neighbors and meet new friends who share a common interest of protecting and enhancing Bear Lake so that it remains a special place for future generations.

We are an all volunteer organization that has only one FUNdraiser a year.  The proceeds allow us to provide for items like website hosting, mailings, water quality sampling and printed educational material.  

Your support once a year is important and appreciated.  

Please download the brochure below, print it, fill it out and mail it to us.  

If you are unable to attend the banquet, please consider making a donation to support our volunteer efforts.


News of June 29, 2014

Bear Lake Ecoli Water Sampling

The most current Bear Lake ecoli sampling results for the week of June 25, 2014 provided by the State of Michigan Department of Health – District 10 (office in Manistee) have been published. The levels detected continue to show that it is safe to have body contact in Bear Lake.

Below are the actual sample results.
2014 Bear Lake Ecoli Report

Bear Lake Annual Banquet Fundraiser

The Bear Lake Annual Banquet will be held on Saturday, August 9, 2014. This event is a great way for you to support the Bear Lake Watershed Alliance and it’s effort to protect and enhance Bear Lake. More details will be available soon. 

News of May 6, 2014
To get where we want to go, we needed a plan.  We were given a grant of $132,380 to develop a plan.  It has been completed and approved and is in the Plan tab section.  It is a good plan.  The money was well spent.

The plan is not just sitting on a shelf.  We are implementing the plan and sharing our progress as we go.  Please review the Action Reports tab section for reports of our progress.  

There are two great examples of how government entities initiated action to help local volunteers in our implementation efforts.  The first example is the effort to control the unintentional spread of invasive species.  The U.S. Forest Service and Manistee County worked together to purchase a portable power wash station that will be used at boat launch sites.  It will help educate the public about the invasive species problem as boats are being cleaned.

The second example is the help Manistee County Planning Department is giving with the Storm Drain System near Bear Lake.  The system is old and there was little information available about drain sites and routes.  Many drain sites are clogged with debris.  Manistee County Planning worked with local volunteers to locate each drain, culvert, inflow and outflow to the lake.  The GPS of each location was entered into the GIS data base and a map was created.  Manistee County is working with Bear Lake volunteers to develop a step by step plan.

Please save the date on your calendar for the Bear Lake Watershed Alliance Annual Fundraising Banquet on August 9, 2014.  More details will be given as we get closer to the date.  

News of April 4, 2014
Several pages of new information has been posted to this website. 
The Resources tab section has two new pages.  One page is devoted to Bear Lake water quality readings.  It has links to charts that show 2013 readings for e coli that could be potentially harmful to those who swim in the lake, trophic levels that reflect the age of the lake and dissolved oxygen readings that show whether the lake is providing sufficient oxygen for the fish population.
Also in the Resources tab section is a new page devoted to information regarding watersheds.  The page has links to the EPA website and websites of other watersheds in Michigan.  It even has a link to a watershed organization not located in Michigan.
The Bear Lake tab section has a page that gives details of the newly created Bear Lake Endowment Fund.  
We have received responses from viewers that they have referred their neighbors to our website because it is such a good reference to better understand the health of Bear Lake and Bear Creek.   If you have friends or relatives interested in receiving our email update notices, feel free to send their email address to us at:

News of March 18, 2014
The Greater Bear Watershed submitted a grant application to provide funding for engineering work for goal 2A - Improve the Storm Drain System in Bear Lake.  Grants were selected via a lottery method. A large number of grant applications were submitted.  Unfortunately, the Greater Bear grant application was not one of the lucky applications selected by the lottery.  

If we received the grant, we would have moved to the stage of engaging an engineering firm to prepare a plan.  Since we did not succeed in the lottery, our next task is to identify who will accept responsibility for cleaning the clogged drains, who will pay for the work and when it can be done.