The Department of Environmental Quality, Office of the Great Lakes, is pleased to announce the approval of $184,393 in Coastal Zone Management (CZM) grants awarded to coastal communities and organizations for Phase II Great Lakes Water Trail projects. Phase I of the initiative provided $342,141 in federal grants to comprehensively plan for local, regional, or statewide coastal water trails along the Great Lakes shoreline. Phase II continues the effort by focusing additional resources for the implementation of the water trail plans recommendations that include increasing user accessibility and promotion of the water trails, linking local and regional recreational trail systems together, and educating water trail enthusiasts about the use of Best Management Practices (BMPS) at water trails. The grant period runs from April 1, 2014, through December 31, 2015.
The organizations receiving awards are:
City of South Haven received $50,000 to install a paved pathway and floating launch with handrails and rollers to assist boaters with physical limitations. An accessible boat drop-off area and designated access parking spaces will also be added. This site is a key access point for both the Lake Michigan Water Trail and the Bangor to South Haven Heritage Water Trail. South Haven desires to utilize its trail system as a focal point of a tourism-centered strategy for economic development and downtown revitalization.
Saginaw Bay Resource Conservation and Development Area, Inc. (SBRC&D) received two water trails grants. The first grant, in the amount of $12,500, will partner SBRC&D with the Saginaw Bay Water Trail Alliance and the consultants working on the Arenac County and Bay County water trail projects in order to ensure that at least thirty sites identified as part of their Phase I Water Trail project are prepared for construction and implementation into the Michigan Water Trail system. A report addressing the state of readiness for construction and/or improvements to be undertaken at each water trail access site, along with photographs of the proposed improvement areas, will be used to approach funders, supporters, and partners in order to effect the indicated improvements. This project is a proactive endeavor to ensure the proper planning is conducted prior to receiving funding and construction of water trail access sites.
The second grant, in the amount of $45,850, will be used to develop marketing materials including a Saginaw Bay trail-specific website, a promotional video, a trail brochure, posters, media and press releases, a trail wayfinding signage plan, and social media in order to promote the Saginaw Bay Water Trail. The marketing efforts of this project will allow users to have better access to information about the trail and its amenities.
St. Clair County Metropolitan Planning Commission received $5,000 to host a “field day” for National Water Trail leaders, the Southeast Michigan Water Trails Consortium, Michigan CZM Water Trail Grant recipients and various water trail recreation agencies to focus on Best Management Practices while touring key landmarks along the Blueways of St. Clair’s Island Loop Route. This project has the educational component of providing examples of BMPs while also marketing the attributes of the Southeast Michigan Water Trails.
Land Information Access Association received $71,043 to work with a wide range of partners to help up to ten local communities leverage their trail assets for community and economic development through the development of “Trail Towns” (linking water and other non-motorized trails together while supporting tourism). Specific recommendations will be made for each community as part of a Trail Town Master Plan that will also include a universal accessibility capital improvement plan and grant funding strategies for trail development and enhancement. The project will support community and economic development with educational workshops of the “Trail Town” concept.
The CZM Program provides grant funds to help develop vibrant and resilient coastal communities through the protection and restoration of our sensitive coastal resources and biologically diverse ecosystems. Funding is provided, in part, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through a state and federal partnership established under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972.
For additional information, please contact Ronda Wuycheck at email@example.com, or at
Source: Michigan Office of the Great Lakes