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About the Watershed
Description of Watershed
The St. Joseph River Watershed is located in the southwest portion of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and northwestern portion of Indiana. It spans the Michigan-Indiana border and empties into Lake Michigan at St. Joseph, Michigan. The watershed drains 4,685 square miles from 15 counties (Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren in Michigan and De Kalb, Elkhart, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Noble, St. Joseph and Steuben in Indiana). The watershed includes 3,742 river miles and flows through and near the Kalamazoo-Portage, the Elkhart-Goshen, the South Bend and the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor metropolitan areas. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 1,524,941 people live in the 15 counties of the watershed, with 53.6% living in Michigan. The most populated county is St. Joseph, IN. The watershed is largely agricultural. More than 50% of the riparian habitat is agricultural/urban, while 25-50% remains forested.

Interactive Online GIS Map (This may take some time to load. It will load in a new browser window.)

Michigan State University Institute of Water Research Interactive Mapping Program (Understanding Your Watershed) for Michigan Watersheds. (Data available for the Michigan portion of the St. Joseph River Watershed.)

Links to additional watershed information.

Watershed Map Images
(click images for more information)
Subwatersheds of the St. Joe River Watershed. Source: USGS Nat'l Hydrology Dataset.
Major Subwatersheds.
Cities in the watershed.
Simplified map image.
Digital Elevations of the Watershed on a 300 meter resolution and subwatershed delineation.
Wetlands in the Watershed. Click on the image to view each Michigan county individually and to view Indiana wetland maps.
Managed Areas (nature preserves, state parks, etc.)
1990's Land Use. Watershed is over 70% agriculture.
Michigan Presettlement Land Cover, circa 1800s.
Average Annual Precipitation, 1950-1999.
Percent Agricultural Land Cover in Each Subwatershed
Percent Forest and Open Land Cover in Each Subwatershed
Percent Urban Land Cover in Each Subwatershed
Percent Wetland and Open Water Land Cover in Each Subwatershed
Subwatershed Projects.
The watershed contains 19 impaired water bodies in Indiana and 14 in Michigan, as defined by the Clean Water Act 303(d).

Counties of the Watershed

Combined Sewer Overflow Outfalls in the watershed.
USEPA Enviromapper for Watersheds. Click image to access maps of federally regulated facilities.
Communities regulated by Phase II of the NPDES Program.
Dams in the watershed.
Federally regulated facilities in the watershed including NPL, NPDES, RCRA.
Total Phosphorus and Total Suspended Solid Nonpoint Source Loading Model.
Michigan Designated Trout Streams and Lakes. Link to Indiana Trout Stocking Information.
Indiana Hydrogeological Settings
River Valley Segments, as defined by the MDNR
Atrazine issues in the Watershed.
Site specific watershed concerns identified by the Steering Committee
Soils of the Watershed
Available electronic floodplain maps
Identification of Critical Areas at the Subwatershed Level
United States Geological Survey Water Resources Stations.
Quantification of Road-Stream Crossings in Michigan