Land Use Along Michigan’s Coasts
From metropolitan Detroit to remote townships in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan’s coastal communities share management responsibility, as well as a section of Great Lakes shoreline. More than 300 coastal communities guide commercial and industrial development, manage population growth and protect natural resources, such as freshwater, coastal wetlands, forests and sand dunes.
Land use is the underlying issue to environmental protection, according to experts from Michigan’s Coastal Management Program. The cumulative and secondary impacts of development include habitat fragmentation. This is one of the most serious impacts of coastal development that results in loss of native biodiversity. Other impacts include loss of natural shoreline features such as wetlands, conversion of unique coastal farmland, impacts on Great Lakes islands and water quality degradation.
Sea Grant specialists, in partnership with Michigan’s Coastal Management Program, assist coastal communities to support economic development that protects and enhances natural resources.