For Immediate Release
August 31, 2006
Christy McGillivray, Clean Water Action: 248.514.9789
Brad van Guilder,
Kathy Evans, Timberland RC&D Area Council: 616-942-4111, ext. 156
Jill Montgomery, MPA,
Gail Gruenwald. Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council: 231-347-1181, ext. 103
Report: A Call to Action as Mounting Development Pressure
and Fragmented Oversight Threatens Economy, Ecology of
But fragmented and disjointed planning on the coasts is overseen by more than 400 separate jurisdictions, a confusing checkerboard of often contradictory and counterproductive rules, zoning laws and long-range plans. The result is a coastline where the character of towns and townships is under siege, and where family farms and important wildlife habitats are increasingly diced into slivers of their former selves.
The study, released today, recommends that state and local policy makers adopt a series of new laws, guidelines and research initiatives to collectively print a roadmap for coordinated coastal development.
Four coastal communities -
With 3,288 miles of Great Lakes shore,
Among the recommendations in the report:
n The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality should create a committee to coordinate the various state agencies and programs working on coastal management, land use and water quality protection
n Local governments should use Smart Growth management tools, and work cross-jurisdictionally to achieve big-picture results
n Planning efforts must target specific areas for new growth and for resource protection, rather than relying on large lot sizes to achieve coastal protection
n Leaders from government, universities, sciences, business and recreation should convene to create strategies local governments can use to maximize coastal assets.
The full report is available online at http://www.mecprotects.org/DevelopingOurCoastlines.pdf
Hugh McDiarmid Jr.