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East Bay Shoreline and Tributaries

The East Bay Shoreline and Tributaries watershed encompasses 39 square miles of land along the east side of east Grand Traverse Bay in Antrim and Grand Traverse counties.  For simplification, this subwatershed combines two separate areas – one surrounding Baker Creek in Grand Traverse County and the other encompassing a 22-mile long stretch of shoreline north of the Village of Elk Rapids in Antrim County.  Tributaries in the stretch north of Elk Rapids include Paradine-McGuire, Mitchell, Guyer, and Antrim creeks.  There are at least twenty-four small streams and many groundwater seeps entering the bay from the Village of Elk Rapids north to Norwood, with the most interesting and beautiful seeps north of Eastport in the blue Antrim Shale Bluffs.  Land uses along this stretch are mostly forested, agricultural (orchards/vineyards, row crops, hay, pasture), and wetlands.  In fact, the East Bay Shoreline and Tributaries subwatershed has the highest percentage of wetlands (20%) compared to the other subwatersheds in the Grand Traverse Bay watershed.  These wetlands are mainly located in the northern section of the watershed in Antrim County.  Since pre-settlement times this subwatershed has lost approximately 42% of its wetland area.  Urban land cover is low, around 14%, and is mainly focused in the southern section of this watershed near Baker Creek and the Village of Elk Rapids.

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This page last updated on 2/9/2021.