Coastal Communities

Managing unprecedented growth along the Michigan shoreline, revitalizing urban waterfronts, and supporting coastal-dependent businesses are all part of Sea Grant’s statewide efforts.

Sea Grant outreach and research specialists work with land use planners, citizens and local government leaders throughout Michigan. Our specialists are helping leaders revitalize Michigan’s riverfronts and coastal areas to attract business and enhance quality of life. Educational materials about soft engineering, habitat protection and restoration provide community leaders with information to develop and implement solutions that recognize the close ties between a healthy ecosystem and a vital economy.

Smart Planning, Economic Growth and Sustainable Resources

Sea Grant efforts encourage sound land use decisions. We support actions that bolster economic growth, protect coastal habitat and ensure access to clean water for future generations in a variety of ways. Michigan Sea Grant objectives include:

  • Assist with planning, implementing, evaluating and improving ecosystem-based approaches to managing Great Lakes coastal resources.
  • Facilitate the application of best practices at marinas through the Michigan Clean Marina Program.
  • Provide information about Great Lakes environments and the need for stewardship of healthy ecosystems.
  • Lead restoration efforts to focus on endangered fish, invasive species, beach contamination, water pollution, and sound boating and marina operations.
  • Support opportunities for coastal tourism.
  • Encourage land use decision-making to preserve options for multiple, long-term uses of waterfronts (e.g., public access).
  • Assist coastal communities with developing inventories and assessing the value of natural resources; assist with developing strategies to enhance the use and protection of resources.

Working Waterfront Case Studies

Working waterfronts are a key component to coastal communities. An ideal working waterfronts supports water-dependent uses while also providing for a mix of support industries and other uses that benefit from the presence of the waterfront, including public access. To learn more about how communities around Michigan approach that land use and waterfront balance, see: Case Study Series

Economic Vitality and Great Lakes Jobs

While it is difficult to put a dollar amount on the beauty and resources of the Great Lakes, Michigan Sea Grant has worked to show how the region’s economic vitality and the Lakes are linked. Learn more about the connection and the research. See: Economic Vitality and the Great Lakes.

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