Muskegon Lake: NOAA Habitat Focus Area Macrophyte and Macroinvertebrate Study


Over a four-year period from 2009-2012, AWRI surveyed macrophyte beds in Muskegon Lake in order to assess the ecological benefits of Muskegon Lake restoration projects. Post-restoration sampling starting in 2011 and 2012 occurred a few months to one year after restoration concluded, and therefore provided only short-term indications of the effects of restoration on the lake’s macrophyte community. Now in 2018, seven years post-restoration, a subset of macrophyte sites in 2009-2012 will be re-sampled in order to create a new assessment of Muskegon Lake’s post-restoration status. In support of this effort, NOAA has selected Muskegon Lake as one of its ten nationwide Habitat Focus Areas, allowing NOAA to focus their resources on prioritizing long-term habitat science and conservation efforts in Muskegon Lake.

Project Summary

In mid- to late-summer 2018, sites will be measured along 3 transects (expanding to 6 transects in 2019 and 2020) in zones around Muskegon Lake for plant growth, macrophyte species identification and relative abundance, overall % cover, and water depth. At randomly selected sites, biomass and sediment organic matter will also be measured. Additionally, one Ponar grab sample per each site will be collected and gently sieved through 0.5 mm steel mesh to collect macroinvertebrates, which will be preserved in 70% ethanol with rose bengal stain for laboratory identification.

Funding for this work is provided by NOAA.

Project Partners

West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission
Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership


Al Steinman, Project Manager:
Mike Hassett, Technician:
Maggie Oudsema, Technician: