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Michigan's Submerged Lands Program is responsible for regulating construction activities along 3,288 miles of Great Lakes shoreline and over 38,000 square miles of Great Lakes bottomlands, including coastal marshes. The program regulates the recovery and use of submerged cultural resources (shipwrecks and associated artifacts) located in the Great Lakes, administers the underwater preserve program, and as of July 21, 2000, is responsible for regulating the recovery of submerged logs from Great Lake bottomlands under Part 326, Great Lakes Submerged Logs Recovery, of the NREPA. The State of Michigan is trustee of the bottomlands and waters of the Great Lakes and has a perpetual duty to manage these resources for the benefit of its citizens.
In addition to having the Great Lakes bottomlands conveyance and permit application review coordinated by the Submerged Lands Program staff, other programs in the Great Lakes Shorelands Unit work directly with the submerged lands statute. The Coastal Program staff is responsible for Part 353, Sand Dune Protection and Management, and the Shorelands Management Program staff is responsible for high risk erosion and environmental areas under Part 323, Shorelands Protection and Management, of the NREPA. Coastal Program and Shorelands Management Program staff review applications involving construction activities on the Great Lakes bottomlands. Staff of these programs consult with each other and with the Submerged Lands Program staff on a daily basis regarding the impact of rip-rap, seawalls, groins, jetties, docks, breakwaters, etc., on nearshore coastal processes and coastal marshes.