At a Glance

Developed in a collaboration with stakeholders, the ecological restoration master plan will guide the restoration of habitat and water quality along the Muskegon Lake Ruddiman Creek shoreline.

Project Description

After working with Biohabitats to develop an Ecological Restoration Master Plan for Hog Island in Superior, Wisconsin, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) again teamed with Biohabitats to prepare a similar plan for Muskegon Lake, a 4,149-acre inland coastal lake located along the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan.

Muskegon Lake, an EPA-designated Area of Concern (AOC), has suffered water quality and habitat problems associated with the historical discharge of pollutants.

To develop an ecological restoration plan for Muskegon Lake and a tributary, Ruddiman Creek, Biohabitats spearheaded three public workshops; engaged local, state and federal government agencies; and built community consensus on a variety of ecological restoration initiatives. The master plan not only provided a framework for restoration but also served as a catalyst for fund raising and educating the public about the importance of Muskegon Lake to the environmental and economic well being of the community.

The final ecological restoration master plan recommended specific action items that can be carried out by the City of Muskegon and various community organizations. These action items include the restoration of native plant communities, aquatic and terrestrial habitat, water quality best management practices, recreation amenities and educational initiatives.



Great Lakes

Physiographic Province

Southern Michigan/Northern Indiana Drift Plains


Muskegon River

Expertise Areas

Coastal, Community, Conservation, Ecological Restoration, Infrastructure, Urban Ecology


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office


Muskegon, Michigan, United States