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Celebrate Boating

Celebrate boating

Celebrate Boating

Celebrating 75 years of launching boating adventures

For 75 years, the Michigan State Waterways Commission has look toward the future of boating, ensuring our state remains a world-class freshwater boating destination. Everyone’s invited to explore and enjoy this land-water connection that has been launching boating adventures since 1947.

Michigan State Waterways Commission 75th anniversary logo
abstract oil painting of lake and horizon

New! Paint the Waterways

The Great Lakes Plein Air Painters Association is putting its artistic spin on today’s boating system with “Paint the Waterways.” As the celebration winds down, enjoy a year's worth of paintings to share, online and for sale.

lighthouse with boat in the background

Watch photo mosaic video

You shared more than 900 of your favorite boating photos with us! We sifted through all the photos and created a photo mosaic video that pulls together many of your memories.

Geocaching Adventure Lab logo on top of dock

Geocaching "Adventure"

Explore Michigan's waterways and maritime heritage in an unexpected way – the new Waterways Adventure Lab is happening now!

colorful crayons lined up

How do you see Michigan’s waters? Use these free pages to color your sea blue view, and share your (or your kids’) pages on social with #ColorMIboating.

Kayak | Ludington | Sailboat | Speedboat

Get a bird's-eye view of harbors

See Michigan’s harbors and marinas from a whole new perspective! New aerial drone footage shows what it looks like to navigate from open water into the harbor and see the overall layout of the facility – a view that can aid in planning your arrival and navigating to your slip.

View complete Michigan harbor and marina playlist »

map locations

Thanks to BoatUS, we are working to add Wi-Fi at our state-operated harbors. They also curated a list of boating adventures. You can pick up this brochures at participating harbors.


Support Michigan boating

Harbors, boat launches, water trails and more – make a monetary donation to the places you love most.


Dive in

Learn about Great Lakes Harbors, boating access sites, boat rentals, safety info and much more.

New funds for aquatic invasive species removal!

After two months of voting on how Labatt funds would be donated, it was a resounding win for the $15,000 donation to be directed toward the fight against aquatic invasive species.

Beginning in June, Labatt donated a portion of its summer sales of Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light to support Michigan boating. To help accomplish this, they asked boaters to decide how exactly the funds should be directed. Other choices included paddling improvement grants, improved water trail signage, urban youth boating experiences and recycling at boating access sites.

Thank you Labatt and voters for helping us celebrate this boating milestone!

Labatt logo

New sustainable boating efforts

Shrink-wrap recycling

Turn your boat shrink-wrap into something new, such as composite decking. Dr. Shrink, the Michigan Recycling Coalition, Michigan Dept. of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Bay Area Recycling for Charities and Emmet County Recycling have partnered to help keep shrink-wrap out of landfills, and you can help:

  1. Get recycling bag(s) for a one-time $7 fee
  2. Register for the program
  3. Remove shrink-wrap, place in the bag and deliver to the nearest registered drop-off location (marina, storage, or recycling facility).
clear bag of boat shrink-wrap

Figuring out fiberglass boat recycling

Mention “recycling” and most people think of aluminum cans, newspapers and other everyday items, but did you know a team of industry professionals is working on a Michigan solution to the global challenge of fiberglass recycling?

Want to help? Complete this online interest form to help us estimate how many fiberglass boats are ready to be recycled. At the same time, you can sign up for text updates on the recycling project and provide your input.

75th merchandise

person wearing yellow boating sweatshirt with ship in background

If you want an anniversary keepsake – shirts, totes and more – visit Peninsulas, one of our "These Goods are Good for Michigan" partners. Ten percent of every sale will help fund Michigan boating programs.

Find 75th anniversary boating gear »

What do you think about Michigan boating?

Boaters and others interested in having their voices heard are encouraged to learn more about the Michigan State Waterways Commission. See past meeting minutes and upcoming meeting schedules. These public meetings are open to everyone and are a great place to learn about boating access, infrastructure and sustainability.