Keep Torch Lake Blue Campaign

TLPA and TCC will not sit “on the sidelines” and watch our beloved lake transform dramatically before our eyes.


Torch Lake is an integral part of our “Up North” lives. Whether you visit for just a week or two, or have summered here your entire life, the fabric of our lives is woven into our Torch Lake. Referred to as “the Caribbean of the North,” Torch Lake has transformed over the past twenty years. Long-time residents have observed these changes first-hand, including the proliferation of algae on the sandy bottom. Whether Golden Brown Algae (GBA) is an isolated nuisance or an indication of a larger problem, it is imperative we take a comprehensive approach to understand “the why?” Therefore, Torch Lake Protection Alliance and Torch Conservation Center, both 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, are teaming up to implement a long-term water quality monitoring program on Torch Lake in collaboration with the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Over three years, through the collection of comprehensive water chemistry data,  the USGS will investigate the primary causes of the changes to the lake we have all observed. This 3-year intensive endeavor will cost $975,885.

The NEEd

We are accountable to those who come after us. We want your grandchildren to thrive in a Torch Lake Watershed that is ecologically rich and sound. The Elk River Chain of Lakes is the largest sub-watershed of the Grand Traverse Bay watershed and contributes over 60% of the water flowing into the bay. Torch Lake is one of the most beloved lakes (ecologically and economically) in this system. Some community stakeholders think that Torch Lake is going through a natural aging process. Some people believe Torch Lake has changed in irreversible ways. Has the lake approached or passed a tipping point? The only way we can begin to answer these important questions is if we bring the best scientists to our doorstep and commit to creating a long-term, comprehensive monitoring program that will inform future remedial management actions.

TLPA and TCC will not sit “on the sidelines” and watch our beloved lake transform dramatically before our eyes. This partnership between TLPA and TCC will pursue action from our lake residents while challenging those with the scientific knowledge to assist us in understanding the cause and effect of lake changes like GBA and the inevitable additional challenges we will face in the future. This is our “call to action.” We are prepared to address this vital need.


Torch Lake is a gathering place. It provides us with experiences that bring us closer to each other and to nature. It is a vital natural resource whose health directly affects ours and the wildlife that reside in its watershed. We cannot do this work without you and your family’s love for Torch Lake. Thank you for your gift to the “Keep Torch Lake Blue” Campaign.

The Terry Malone Lake Management Memorial Fund

With the full support of the Malone Family, all funds donated to the KTLB Campaign are deposited into the Terry Malone Lake Management Memorial Fund. Terry was a Past-President of TLPA, a huge champion of Torch Lake, and encouraged us wholeheartedly from the beginning to research why our beloved lake is changing so much.