Next chance to stand up for critical sand dunes

Today, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a public hearing about a permit application to pave and widen a road that runs through 130 beautiful acres of dunes, along the coast of Lake Michigan near Saugatuck. The road work is part of a larger plan to fully develop the pristine site, but we have the chance now to speak out and defend Michigan’s dunes.

There are a few important ways you can take action to oppose dunes development:

1. Attend the DEQ’s public hearing on Monday, June 30th at 6 PM in the Saugatuck High School’s Library (401 Elizabeth St, Saugatuck, MI).

2.Submit a public comment to the DEQ in support of denying the permit and protecting Michigan’s sand dunes for future generations. Continue reading

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Hearings Held for Recreation Areas

Two hearings that will effect lake front areas in South Haven were held last week. Both are for improvements to park land and both were approved to be submitted for funding to the Department of Natural Resources’ Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF). Matching funds from local agencies are required.

Syndicate Park

On Monday, March 24, the Van Buren County Commission held a public hearing on proposed stabilization of the Syndicate Park dune area adjacent to Northpoint Preserve in a critical dunes area. Continue reading

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NOAA Scientists Analyze Great Lakes Water Levels

NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) scientists recently shared their insights on the great lakes water levels in an article in Science Magazine (March 7, 2014, issue).

Water levels dropping Rising water temperature and evaporation contributes to decline in lake levels. The vertical gray bar represents the period of El Niño influenced warming. (NOAA)

Water levels dropping
Rising water temperature and evaporation contributes to decline in lake levels. The vertical gray bar represents the period of El Niño influenced warming. (NOAA)


In the past, water level fluctuations have been the result of varying amounts of precipitation. Now with global climate change, new factors are driving level changes.

A summary of their work is available on line at the NOAA OAR Research website. Or read the article in Science for a thorough discussion of their work and findings.

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Hearing: Syndicate Park Sand Dune Area

On Monday, March 24 at 3:45 the Van Buren County Commission will hear comments on a proposed grant proposal to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) for improvements at Syndicate Park Dune Area. The hearing will be at the Commissioners’ Chambers, County Building, 219 E Paw Paw St., Paw Paw.

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Continue reading

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Public Hearing: Pilgrim Haven Park

A public informational meeting on the proposal for Pilgrim Haven Park will be held by Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC) and the South Haven Area Recreation Authority (SHARA). It is scheduled  for 7:00 PM, March 26 at the South Haven Town Hall. 
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Continue reading

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South Haven Water Trail

South Haven Water Trail Listening Session on February 25th!

WMEAC, Grand Valley State University, and Williams & Works plan listening session for citizens of South Haven and surrounding lakeshore communities.

This session is one component of a joint initiative, made possible by support from the Michigan Coastal Zone Management Program, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce. Continue reading

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Saugatuck: Another Loss

On Saturday, February 8, the Chicago Presbytery voted to approve the sale of the 130-acre Presbyterian Campground in Saugatuck to developer, David Barker, for $10,000,000. The property is on Oval Beach, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in the state. Continue reading

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DEQ: Singapore Dunes Can Be Permitted

After many years of opposition by local citizens and environmentalist the DEQ has determined that a permit can be issued for the development of Singapore Dunes. The property is 300 acres on Lake Michigan, north of the Kalamazoo River in Saugatuck and is part of what has been known as the Denison Property. Continue reading

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