Helping small communities dream big for the future
Michigan Sea Grant’s Sustainable Small Harbors Project has enabled six communities with public harbors to do in-depth self-assessments.
Michigan is home to more than 80 public marinas and harbors, managed by the state, county or local government. They’re part of a boating industry that contributes $2.4 billion in economic activity to the state each year; however, maintaining and improving these facilities is an ongoing challenge.
Working with many partners, Michigan Sea Grant’s Sustainable Small Harbors Project has enabled six communities with public harbors to do in-depth self-assessments, uncovering strengths and weaknesses related to their waterfront assets. Community members brainstormed and developed concrete designs for future harbor projects. Several communities have now leveraged the designs to win more than $3 million in grants to fund projects.
- The City of New Baltimore used its designs to win a $2.85 million grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust to purchase a private marina on Lake St. Clair, which will be opened for public use. The city will use additional funds from a different grant to upgrade the marina facilities for accessibility.
- Using the designs, Au Gres won a $30,000 grant from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe to renovate the formerly state-owned Au Gres Mooring Facility.
- In Ontonagon, the project prompted a revitalization of the Downtown Development Authority.