What is a Watershed?

A watershed is the geographic area of
the land where precipitation drains (or sheds)
to a lake, stream or wetland.

The Jordan River Watershed Natural Features

The Jordan River Watershed embodies some of Michigan's most outstanding natural treasures. Widely known as the "Jordan Valley" its unbroken forests, free-flowing streams, and wilderness setting have provided countless generations with unparalleled natural splendor. The watershed possesses a full range of ecologic components. The native plant and animal communities are rich and diverse. Scores of plant and animal species flourish in this 125 square mile premier watershed ecosystem. Conifer swamps along the streambanks and its vast wetland habitat give way to the majestic upland hardwood forests and meadowlands. These contiguous habitats provide vital "greenways" and "ecological corridors" enhancing the interwoven webs of biologic diversity and sustainability.

The Jordan River Watershed Ecosystem

Is widely recognized as one of Michigan's premier watershed ecosystems.

Is approximately 125 square miles (100,000 acres), traversing from the rolling hills of its headwaters (elevation 1,190 feet) to the shores of Lake Charlevoix (elevation 590 feet). It contains over 94 linear miles of rivers and streams and the Jordan Valley State Forest (25,000 acres of undeveloped forest lands).

Is renowned for the Jordan River - the first river in Michigan to be designated wild and scenic under the state's Natural Rivers Act in 1972.

Possesses a full range of ecological components resulting in a high degree of biodiversity and biologic integrity, including forested land; unfragmented headwaters; intact, integrated riparian zones; continuous greenbelts and ecologic corridors.

Has a long and successful tradition of conservation, preservation, and collaboration between local, state, and federal agencies; including the work and support of surrounding communities who collectively have contributed to the protection of the Jordan River watershed.

Has a long and successful tradition of conservation, preservation, and collaboration between local, state, and federal agencies; including the work and support of surrounding communities who collectively have contributed to the protection of the Jordan River watershed.

Variations of water levels at the south arm of Lake Charlevoix