• About the Watershed
• Watershed FAQ
• Concerns & Issues
• Management Plans
• MDNR Boat Launch
• Public Access Sites

• About the CLWA
• Water Quality
• Education &
• Zoning & Land Use
• Development
• Ad Hoc & Special
• Calendar
• Membership Form
• Newsletters
• References
• Watershedware

Selected Web Links

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Crystal Lake and Watershed Association


Crystal Lake &
Watershed Association
P.O. Box 89, Beulah, MI 49617
Phone: (231) 882-4001
FAX: (231) 882-7810
Email Us
Follow us on Facebook

About the
Crystal Lake &
Watershed Association

• Who is the CLWA?

• What does the CLWA do?

• Annual Reports

• Annual Meetings
• CLWA Personnel and Committees

• Science Review Panel

• Awards & Accolades

• History of the CLWA

Who is the CLWA?

The CLWA is a nonprofit (501c3) organization of concerned local citizens and environmental professionals committed to protecting the integrity of Crystal Lake, Benzie County, Michigan, for the enjoyment of future generations.

The current organization evolved from two predecessor organizations, the CLWF and the CLA, and have roots going back fifty years. See History of the CLWA below for more details.

CLWA's four-part purpose is:

  • Protect and promote the natural qualities of Crystal Lake and its surrounding Watershed.

  • Preserve for future generations the beauty and recreational resources of Crystal Lake and its Watershed.

  • Engage in water-quality monitoring, educational programs, promotion of harmonious land development, and promotion of the safe use of Crystal Lake.

  • Advocate and ensure the continued aesthetic beauty and environmental integrity of the Lake and its Watershed.

The Stakeholders

"The stakeholders are all the people of our Crystal Lake Watershed: the Lakies, the Townies, the Fudgies.

You are: Citizens, Riparians, Teachers, Students, Businesses, Government, and Visitors."

The Bylaws

CLWA ByLaws 2012 - 11 pages, 104 kB PDF document, see here for details.


See lots of photos of people involved with CLWA, the former CLWF and CLA organizations, and photos of the Crystal Lake area and nearby.

What does the CLWA do?

View the details of CLWA Committees and their Activities.

CLWA Management Committees

CLWA Management Committees are defined by the Bylaws to manage the CLWA.

  • Executive Committee

Responding to the immediate needs as authorized by the CLWA Board.

The Executive Committee is comprised of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and two Board members. It is empowered by the Board to act on any issue requiring immediate action exclusive of regular Board meetings.

Standing (Formal) Committees

Standing (Formal) Committees are defined by the Bylaws to manage the CLWA and respond to new and existing issues affecting the Crystal Lake Watershed.

Monitoring the environment within our Watershed.

The Water Quality Committee is responsible for monitoring environmental parameters, including lake level, that determine the overall quality of Crystal Lake. It will reporting results to the Board, maintain records, and publish results.

Preserving our Watershed through Environmental Regulation and Enforcement.

The Zoning & Land Use Committee is responsible for monitoring zoning changes within Benzie County and individual Townships. It is to be aware of proposed land developments. It will report to the Board on proposed land developments. It will also monitor road and water safety.

Interpreting our Watershed through educational programs.

The Education & Communications Committee is responsible for education of the membership and the public regarding the value of the Lake and its Watershed and the need for continued stewardship. It will coordinate the "Walkabout" program, edit the newsletter, directory, and other publications, maintain the website, and promote the CLWA at public events.

Promoting membership and financial development

Using dues, contributions, and grant funds wisely.

The Development Committee is responsible for promotion of a large, involved, supportive, and active membership. It is responsible for coordinating all fund-raising activities

  • Nominating Committee

Choosing leaders for the future.

The Nominating Committee is comprised of six Board members. It is responsible for seeking qualified individuals to serve as future Officers and Board Members.

Ad Hoc and Special Committees

Appointed by the President with the approval of the Board to respond to immediate issues and changing events affecting the Crystal Lake Watershed.

Other Issues & Concerns

Annual Reports

Provided below are the annual reports for the CLWA organization and all of its many committees. (All are PDF documents, see here for details.)

Annual Meetings

The CLWA holds its annual meeting in July of each year. Provided below are minutes from past annual meetings. Draft minutes are made available for members to read and review, and then approve at the following year's annual meeting. (All are PDF documents, see here for details.)

CLWA Personnel and Committees


• President – Joel Buzzell (2010-2016)
• Vice-President – James Hamp (2013-2017)
• Treasurer – David Appleford (2013-2017)
• Secretary – Ellen Herscher (2011-2016)

Board of Directors
Catherine (Tassie) Bosher (2015-2018)
Susan Brown (2014-2018)
Rick Cassard (2011-2017)
Rick Cosaro (2011-2017)
Stacy L. Daniels (2004-2016)
Ted Fisher (2013-2016)
Charles (Chuck) King IV (2014-2017)
Tom Kucera (2014-2017)
Alan Marble (2012-2018)
John E. (Jack) Maurer (2013-2016)
Michael Musgrave (2015-2018)
Ann Pepper (2014-2017)

Wanda Shreiner (2009-2016)
Hugh Walton (2008-2016)
David Wynne (

Past Presidents
Bob Appleford (2002-2008)
Ed Hoogterp (2009-2012)

• Boat Wash Staff – Gary Herbert
• Office Administrator – Karen Dennis (Day Bookkeeping)
• Water Quality Testing – John Ransom (Benzie Conservation District)
• Web Site Consultant –   Jim Stamm (ATI Consulting)

• Crystal Lake Swimmer's Itch Partnership —   Ted Fisher
• Development —   Joel Buzzell (pro tem)
• Education & Communication —   Ellen Herscher
• Executive — Joel Buzzell
• Finance — David Appleford
• Water Quality —   Hugh Walton
• Zoning & Land Use — Ed Hoogterp
• Nominating Committee Selected from current retiring Board



Board Members
Bob Appleford   2004-2007    
Ken Baker 2004-2007
Bill Beck   2009-2014    
Ted Bosler 2004-2006R
Jim Buzzell   2006-2011    
Tom Clare   2008-2010    
Chuck Clarke 2004-2007R
Eleanor Comings 2004-2005
Bill Decker 2004-2009
Peggy Burns Deloria   2007-2008R    
Phil Downs   2012-2012    
Eddie Elsworth   2010-2013    
Peter Ellsworth 2004-2005
Doug Gibson   2008-2011    
Cliff Graves 2004-2008R
Elizabeth Hill 2004-2009R
Amy Kinney 2004-2006
Susan Kirkpatrick 2007-2009
Jim Laarman   2004-2012    
Julianne McNight   2009-2012    
Phil Meek   2008-2010    
Sandra O'Neal   2009-2012    
Tom Osborn 2004-2007R
Peter C. Payette   2012-2015    
Roger Perry   2010-2013    
Jay Pettitt 2004-2008
Ron Renner 2004-2008
Keith Schneider 2006-2008
Kathryn Simpson 2004-2008
Virginia Sorenson 2004-2006
Toby Tull 2004-2007R
Jana Way   2011-2014    

Laura Bailey   2011    
Emily Baker 2008
Hadley Boehm   2009    
Kassie Ford   2010    
Paul Gerhart   2011    
Noah Hahn   2012    
Jane Limmer   2007    
Madison Lutzke   2012    
Tiffany Moore   2010    
Shelby Riggle   2012    
Jessica Schaub   2011    
Chelsea Spauling   2010    
Molly Walton 2008

Kyle Axtell 2007-2008 Water Quality Testing
Ron Edwards   2012-2013   Program Coordinator
Paul Murphy 2004-2007 Water Quality Testing
Vicki Schmuker 2004-2005 Office Administrator

Notes on CLWA Presidents

Robert Appleford (2002-2008)

Robert Appleford served as the first President of the then new Crystal Lake & Watershed Association beginning in the fall of 2004. He ably steered the organization from the merger of the Crystal Lake Watershed Fund and the Crystal Lake Association through it first four years of operation to its present successful operation. He and his wife, Molly reside just over the hill on Beach Road in Crystal Downs but Crystal Lake is never far from their thoughts.

Ed Hoogterp (2009-2012)

Edward Hoogterp served as the second President of the now robust Crystal Lake & Watershed Association beginning in the summer of 2009. He capably led the organization transitioning it though its second four years of operation to its present proactive position. A former journalist, Ed was a champion for control of invasive species. He and his wife, Millie reside in Benzonia Township.

Joel Buzzell (current: 2013-???)

Joel Buzzell serves as the third President of thriving CLWA the beginning in the summer of 2012. He is strengthening the organization during its third four years of operation and through restructuring of its committees. He is involved with a technology company in Traverse City. He and his wife Soskia reside in Crystal Lake Township.

Science Review Panel

The Science Review Panel (SRP) considers environmental issues pertaining to the Crystal Lake Watershed, Benzie County, Michigan. The SRP is proactive in developing independent consensus viewpoints upon review of environmental issues of particular local interest and provides scientifically sound recommendations where appropriate to the public.

The collective expertise of the SRP bears directly on the scientific components of environmental issues having current or potential future impact on the Crystal Lake Watershed. Since its inception, the SRP has reviewed environmental studies sponsored by the CLWA and cooperative studies by CLWA with other organizations. Assessment of studies conducted by other responsible organizations that have demonstrated performance in related environmental areas provided upon request. Specific topics and issues have included: water quality studies, alternative waste treatment systems, greenbelts and herbicide applications, the Cold Creek holding pond, the MDNR
Boating Access Facility, the Railroad Point Natural Area, swimmers itch, and related environmental issues within the greater Betsie River Watershed.

The SRP represents a unique group of individuals from academia, government, and industry, with local, state, and national reputations. The SRP includes the directors of all the past and current water quality studies of Crystal Lake since 1960, and other knowledgeable individuals from government and academia at local, state, and national levels. All members are environmental professionals who serve as volunteers.



  Stacy Dr. Stacy L. Daniels Chair, Science
Review Panel

Director of Research

Crystal Lake & Watershed
Association (CLWA)

Ingenuity IEQ, Inc.

University of Michigan

  Al   Dr. Alfred M. Beeton   Retired Chief Scientist

Director, Emeritus
  National Oceanographic and
Atmospheric Administration

Great Lakes Environmental
Research Laboratory

  Bill   William A. Crawford   Sanitarian   Benzie/Leelanau District
Health Department

  Eckhardt   Dr. Eckhart Dersch   Associate Chair
and Professor,
  Dept. Resource Development
Michigan State University

  Wally   Dr. Wally Fusilier   Consulting Limnologist   Water Quality Investigators

  John   Dr. John Gannon   Professor Emeritus   School of Public Health
EIS/EH, University of Michigan

  John   John R. Gehring (D)   Biology Teacher,
  Biology Department,
Benzie County Central Schools

  Don   Dr. Donald Gatz   Former Chief   Air Quality & Chemistry,
Atm. Env. Section,
Illinois State Water Survey

  Doug   Douglas Gibson   Sixth Grade Teacher   Lake Ann Elementary School,
Benzie County Central Schools

  Elizabeth   Dr. Elizabeth
Rodgers Hill
  Aquatic Ecologist,

Jim Jim Laarman Hydrologist, Retired Army Corps of Engineers

  Scott   Dr. A. Scott McNaught   Associate Professor   Biology Department,
Central Michigan University

Troy Troy R. Naperala Senior Water Resources
URS Corporation

  Andy   Andy Norman   Agricultural Agent,
  Agriculture & Natural Resources,
MSU Extension Service

  Jack   Jack Randall   Educational Consultant   Vernier Software & Technology

  Tom   Thomas K. Rohrer   Chief -
Enforcement Section
  Surface Water Quality Division

  Fred   Dr. Fred J. Tanis   Senior Researcher   Environmental Research
Institute of Michigan

  John   Dr. John C. Walton   Associate Professor
Civil Engineering
  University of Texas at El Paso

  Richard   Dr. Richard L. Whitman   Station Chief
Aquatic Ecologist
  Lake Michigan Ecological
Research Station, USGS

Awards & Accolades

April 2010...

CLWA Receives Michigan Inland Lakes "Steward of the Year" Award for 2010

The Michigan Lake and Stream Associations (
www.MLSWA.org), which represents 300 member associations across Michigan, recently honored the CLWA with the prestigious Michigan Inland Lakes "Steward of the Year" Award for 2010. At the 49th Annual Meeting of ML&SA held in Lansing on April 1 - May 1, 2010, a plaque was presented "in recognition of outstanding leadership, teamwork, and dedication in preserving and protecting Michigan's freshwater heritage for future generations." The award was presented by ML&SA Executive Director, William S. Brown and accepted by Dr. Stacy L. Daniels, CLWA Chair, Education & Communications Committee. In presenting the award, Brown said,

“You and the CLWA have always been there for ML&SA — your continued support of our humble organization is greatly appreciated! We recognize lake associations who through their hard work and dedication have set an example of proactive stewardship and leadership in working to preserve and protect their lakes and watersheds that others may follow.”

“ML&SA was founded nearly fifty years ago on the premise that the best way to help preserve these freshwater gems for future generations was for concerned riparians to create and sustain active lake associations focused on resolving local lake management issues. You and your organization have established a solid path for other lake associations to follow.”

The CLWA has been a long-time supporter of ML&SA. The CLWA has participated in the Cooperative Lake Monitoring Program (CLMP) sponsored by the ML&SA, MDNRE Water Division, and MiCorps. Volunteers collect samples in the Spring and Summer for analysis of total phosphorus (a nutrient), and periodic samples for Chlorophyll a (an indicator of algal productivity) and Secchi disk depths (water clarity).

History of the CLWA

The Crystal Lake & Watershed Association (CLWA) represents a merger of two predecessor organizations:

Both the CLA and the CLWF share common roots of the family tree going back fifty years.

The genealogy of lake associations at Crystal Lake, Benzie Co., MI, has evolved through eleven organizations with separate and shared interests and directions.

Click on image for a full-size view

Who was the former CLWF?

The former Crystal Lake Watershed Fund, Inc.(CLWF), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, was formed in 1994 upon merging the Clean Water Committee of Crystal Lake (with focus on water quality monitoring) and the Friends of Crystal Lake (with focus on land use and zoning). The CLWF grew from the roots of several predecessor organizations tracing back to the early 1960's. The CLWF consisted of concerned volunteers, property owners, and scientists who give freely of their time, skills, and expertise.
The former Clean Water Committee of Crystal Lake (ad hoc Committee, now merged in the CLWF) was instrumental in supporting the Benzie/Leelanau Health Department in developing a model ordinance to ensure that septic systems in proximity to Crystal Lake and other water bodies in Benzie County comply with the latest standards in design and performance. The former Friends of Crystal Lake (now merged in the CLWF) was supportive of efforts by Township and County zoning boards to work with local land owners and builders to promote reasonable and consistent land use regulations to ensure sustainable development that is compatible with the desirable environmental qualities unique to the Crystal Lake Watershed. The CLWF worked with the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy in support of the Trapp Farm Nature Preserve and the water management of the subwatersheds of Cold Creek. The CLWF, together with more than 20 cosponsors and supporting organizations with local environmental presences, coordinated the biannual Crystal Lake "Walkabout."

The Past CLWF Organization

• President: William Decker
  • Vice-President:   Jim Buzzell
• Secretary:   Virginia Sorenson
  • Treasurer:   Charles Clarke
  • Executive Coordinator:   Paul Murphy
2003-2004 CLWF Board of Directors
  • Alan Appelhof
  • Joanne Applehof
  • Ken Baker
  • Tom Bolin
  • Ted Bosler
  • Tom Cobb
  • Eleanor Comings
  • Stacy L. Daniels
  • Char Decker
  • Wally Edwards
  • Marjorie Pearsall-Groenwald
  • Jim Hinkamp
  • Gail Hunter
  • Telfer Mook
  • Michael D. Morris
  • Tom Osborn
  • Mollie Rogers
  • Larry White

Who was the former CLA?

The former Crystal Lake Association was founded in 1960, by property owners along the shores of Crystal Lake, Benzie County, Michigan. The organization has continued to grow from a few dozen members to over a thousand members today. At the same time, the mission and purpose of the organization has continued to develop and now encompasses environmental issues in the entire Crystal Lake watershed.

The Crystal Lake Association was committed to protecting and improving the quality of Crystal Lake, by monitoring the water and surrounding environment through the effective action and leadership of the membership, thereby preserving the natural beauty of Crystal Lake for future generations.

The Crystal Lake Association was organized exclusively for charitable, educational, scientific, and testing for public safety purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended to date, including but not limited to: to protect, preserve and promote the natural qualities of Crystal Lake; to prevent environmental deterioration and impairment of the natural resources of Crystal Lake and the surrounding areas; to promote the safe use of Crystal Lake and adjacent areas; and, through educational programs, to enhance public awareness of activities to be encouraged or discouraged in connection with carrying out the purposes specifically described above.

The Past CLA Organization

2003-2004 CLA OFFICERS
• President: Ron Renner
  • Vice-President:   Toby Tull
• Secretary:   Elizabeth Hill
  • Treasurer:   Robert Schmidt
• Support Staff: Charles McDaniel
2003-2004 CLA Board of Directors
  • Doug Bard
  • Dr. Harry Blecker
  • Grant Brown, Jr.
  • Peter Ellsworth
  • Amy Kinney
  • James Laarman
  • James Martin
  • Weezie Morris
  • Jay Pettitt
  • Chelin Satherlie
  • Kathryn Simpson
  • Virginia Sorenson
  • Susan Teteak

Crystal Lake and Watershed Association


Crystal Lake & Watershed Association
P.O. Box 89, Beulah, MI 49617
Phone: (231) 882-4001
FAX: (231) 882-7810
Email Us


About the Watershed

Watershed FAQ

Concerns & Issues

Management Plan

MDNR Boat Launch

Public Access Sites
About the CLWA

• Water Quality

Education & Communications

• Zoning & Land Use

• Development

• Ad Hoc & Special Committees

• Calendar
• Membership Form

• Newsletters

• References

• Watershedware

Selected Web Links