Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Rolland Fraser

Second Advisor

Dr. David Lemberg

Third Advisor

Dr. Lisa DeChano

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


In Southwest Michigan, a growing number of residential developments are evident as residences line nearly the entire shoreline of many inland lakes. This may cause a potential change to the lakeshore vegetation and water quality of the lake, but no data have been collected to determine shoreline conditions at present nor as baseline reference for estimation effects of the continuing trend, nor for planning models for future development.

A physical survey was conducted in order to determine what residential landscape characteristics currently exist at selected lakes in Barry and Kalamazoo counties, Michigan. The data from the physical survey were summarized for each lake and overall to determine current development landscape trends. Comparative statistics were used on selected variables to determine characteristic associations.

Summary results show a variation in development trends between the lakes. Most of the lakeshore residences have structures along the shoreline. Very little natural vegetation remains in the littoral zone. Numerous residences have lawns from the house, all the way to the waterline. Residences on Austin, Eagle, Long, and Fine Lakes tend to impose harsh landscaping practices as opposed to residences on Campbell and Sugarloaf Lakes. Comparative results show the variables that yielded the highest significant correlation coefficients were slope and %Lake.

Included in

Geography Commons