Sustainable Small Harbor Management Strategy Project

Small Harbor Sustainability MapMichigan is home to more than 80 public harbors and marinas, run by the state, county or local government. Each year, Great Lakes boating infuses the Michigan economy with nearly $2.4 billion through direct and secondary spending. The trend of fluctuating water levels across the Great Lakes, particularly persistent low water levels in the past 10 years, combined with economic downturn have taken their toll on local waterfront communities. In addition, state and federal funding for public harbors is increasingly limited.

The research team seeks to develop a sustainable small harbor management strategy for Michigan’s coastal communities.

The team is hosting charrettes (facilitated community planning sessions) this spring in New Baltimore, Au Gres, Ontonagon and Pentwater. The communities will undergo a six-month engagement process with the research team. The research team will identify strategies to improve economic, social and environmental sustainability of Michigan’s harbor communities.

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