Lake Michigan Shoreline Erosion Control Project in Antrim County
Antrim County, MI

Grantee: Antrim Conservation District
Basin Program Funds: $15,000
Non-federal Funds: $18,050
Project Duration: 06/1996 - 06/1997
Status: complete

Problem Statement
In a November 1995 inventory conducted by the Antrim Conservation District and the Antrim County Road Commission, eight road/stream crossings were determined to be delivering excessive amounts of sediment to streams and/or wetlands in the area.

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The goal of this project was to implement the portion of the Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed Management Plan, a product of the Elk River Chain of Lakes Steering Committee, that addresses water resource quality improvements within the watershed. Part of the plan's implementation strategy is to improve priority road/stream crossings. For this project, three severely eroded crossings in the Elk River and Grand Traverse Bay watersheds were chosen as demonstration sites: the Antrim Creek Natural Area, the Cedar River road/stream crossing, and the VanStratten Creek road/stream crossing. Sedimentation problems at all three sites result from the continuous flow of water from seeps and springs down steep dirt roads.

VanStratten Creek: It is estimated that 80 tons of sediment go into this creek each year. To control this problem, a series of retention basins were installed, in conjunction with two french drains, to control a side hill seep. In addition, culvert extensions were banded to create more slope. To stabilize this critically eroding area further, rock rip-rap was placed over geo-textile fabric and the bank was seeded and mulched.

Cedar Creek: The Cedar Creek road/stream crossing was a priority site due to the steepness of the road above the stream crossing and culvert. Paving the Cedar Creek road/stream crossing prevented over 100 tons of sediment from entering the creek.

Antrim Creek: Antrim Creek was a high priority site for restoration because of its designation as a Natural Area and its closeness to Grand Traverse Bay. An estimated 125 tons of sediments was being washed down a road that crosses a steep bluff. Spring seeps helped contribute to the problem. Through earthwork improvements, the installation of tile and geo-textile wrapped filter beds, as well as re-seeding and mulching work, the soil erosion and sedimentation problems have been controlled.

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To promote the success of this project, the Antrim Conservation District, in cooperation with the Antrim Road Commission, sponsored a tour of the improved sites.

Annually a total of 241 tons of soil, 24 pounds of phosphorus, and 16 pounds of nitrogen have been saved as a result of this project. The number and type of audiences reached through this project include 125 residents, six township supervisors, and the personnel at three road commissions.


Great Lakes Commission des Grands Lacs.  2805 S. Industrial Highway, Suite 100.  Ann Arbor, MI  48104-6791.  phone: 734/971.9135.  fax: 734/971-9150. Join the Friends of the Great Lakes GLIN Partner