The Water Quality Program, run by the Water Quality Specialist, is the first of many programs that will be needed under EQD. The goal of the program is to protect, assess, and restore waters resources on tribal lands. The water program will consist of Baseline Monitoring, Watershed Base Planning, along with Ordinance and Regulation Development.
The Pokagon Department of Natural Resources has created a depth profile (bathymetry) map of Gage Lake. Using a Sontek RiverSurveyor, 12,000 + points were collected over a 5 hour time period. The data collected was then entered into ArcGIS software to create the map. Profile contours are in 1 foot intervals and show a maximum depth of 38 feet for Gage Lake. This information will help citizens see the depths in the lake and assist in fishing site selection. This information will help the DNR during their water sampling efforts and also assist with additional modeling that may be completed regarding Gage Lake in the future.
Baseline Monitoring of Surface Waters:
- Develop and implement the Band's water monitoring plan on lakes, rivers, and streams that are on and/or adjacent to Tribal lands
- Prepare a Clean Water Act 106 funding application to EPA. The EPA 106 program provides funding assistance to eligible tribes and states to implement water quality monitoring and protection programs.
- Assess the Band’s surface waters to see if they are in compliance with Pokagon Band water quality standards. Pokagon Band water quality standards were adopted via the Pokagon Band "Health and Safety Act," in which Michigan's Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) is the reference.
Watershed Base Planning:
- Attend local watershed meetings and communicate Pokagon Band concerns and goals of local waters resources
- Contributing to the development of St. Joseph, Paw Paw, Dowagiac, and Galien River watershed plans
- Implement the plans and Pokagon Band water resources goals via restorations projects, monitoring, education, and partnerships.
Ordinance and Regulation Development:
- Review and assess current ordinances and regulations
- Assist with creation of water protection related ordinances and regulations
- Develop water quality standards that are federally recognized and meet Pokagon Band's water resources needs
Watershed Plans: St. Joseph River, Paw Paw River, Dowagiac River, Galien River
Pokagon Band: Health, Environmetal Protection and Building Codes Act
NREPA: Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act