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Healthy Coast Initiative bridges communities and coastline

May 29, 2019

Two young siblings sit along the banks of the water holding fishing polesCoastal communities and an expansive Great Lakes shoreline are a unique part of Michigan’s freshwater heritage. Dunes, beaches, and wetlands are community gems for outdoor recreation and provide homes for many species of plants and animals.

To help coastal communities thrive and become resilient to changing weather, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Coastal Program is making investments in ecosystem protection and restoration for its Healthy Coast Initiative.

By supporting quality coastal habitat, dual benefits like resiliency to Great Lakes storms and protected biodiversity can be accomplished. These improvements, in turn, can grow community connections to the coast. Research (like this 2018 GLRI study) has shown how healthy water systems benefit local recreation and sustainable economic growth.

"Our goal is to partner with coastal communities on nature-based solutions and improve connections to the coast," said Coastal Program Manager Ronda Wuycheck. "This work will foster appreciation and stewardship for the Great Lakes."

To reach that goal, the program will provide assistance and special funding opportunities through the Healthy Coast Initiative for communities to enhance coastal habitat and provide places for people to enjoy the coast.

"We are looking forward to working with community partners on creative projects that protect the coast and improve understanding of its value for recreation and resiliency," said Wuycheck.

The EGLE Coastal Program in the Water Resources Division works in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Learn more about program and download the Healthy Coast grant application on the Coastal Program webpage.

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