A Watershed Moment: Michigan CAFO Mapping Report

A Watershed Moment provides a one-stop shop on Michigan Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) data and information that has never been available before. It features an interactive map showing, by watershed and Congressional District, the location of all Michigan CAFOs with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and provides several key facts for public use. Using the most current data available, this project includes: the location and the owners of the farm sites; the species and head counts of animals housed; the facility’s NPDES CAFO permit numbers; the CAFO operator’s report on waste produced; the environmental enforcement actions by the State of Michigan incurred; and the taxpayer subsidies received.

Read A Watershed Moment to learn about Michigan’s 272 factory farms, the manure and waste they produce, the subsidies and Michigan enforcement actions they’ve received, and their connection to toxic-algae feeding dissolved phosphorus and The Great Lakes.

To best view the maps click on the square icon in the top right corner of each map below to get a large map in a new window. Then, to view the map layers, click on the left panel. You can then click on your choice of the items listed. Click on a layer title on the panel to see a summary for that area, or click on a dot on the map to see individual farm information. The top map shows the comprehensive data; the map below identifies the CAFO sites by name in each watershed.

Watershed Key:

  • SE Lake Michigan: St. Joseph, Black-Macatawa, Kalamazoo, Upper Grand, Maple, Lower Grand, Thornapple
  • NE Lake Michigan: Pere Marquette, Muskegon, Manistee, Betsie-Platte, Boardman-Charlevoix, Manistique, Brevoort-Millicoquins
  • SW Lake Huron: Au Gres-Rifle, Kawkawlin-Pine, Pigeon-Wiscoggin, Birch-Willow
  • Saginaw: Tittabawassee, Pine, Shiawassee, Flint, Cass, Saginaw
  • St. Clair-Detroit: St. Clair, Lake St. Clair, Clinton, Detroit, Huron
  • W Lake Erie: Ottawa-Stony, Raisin, St. Joseph, Tiffin

CAFOs by Watershed

Sortable data table for the project.

Click the links to see sorted tables:

By Watershed By Cong. District  By County
Top Manure Top Enforcements Top Subsidies
Dairy/Heifers Beef/Veal Hogs
Chickens Turkeys Combinations



Against the Grain: Farming Sustainably in an Industrial System

A series of short video interviews with Michigan farmers who talk about the challenges of taking have a sustainable, small-scale approach to raising livestock in a system that incentivizes “get big or get out.”

videos: WestboundProductions.com
aerial photos courtesy Lighthawk/ECCSCM/Sierra Club/SRAP