Promoting the region's waterways

With miles of shoreline throughout the region, talk is underway to increase awareness of this resource for recreation enthusiasts.
Alex Doty
Feb 1, 2014


The West Michigan Environmental Action Council, Grand Valley State University and the Grand Rapids-based engineering firm of Williams & Works have planned listening opportunities for the Grand Haven area about a potential Lakeshore water trail.

A meeting for interested stakeholders will take place at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, at the Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus Ave. It is open to the public and will provide a platform for citizens to voice their opinions and reimagine a water trail that fits their needs and vision.

“This is just kind of an informational meeting because the whole thing is evolving and changing,” Grand Haven Mayor Geri McCaleb said.

During the event, Grand Haven residents and affiliates will learn more about the future possibilities as well as the current extent of ongoing complimentary projects that share the goal to develop a usable, contiguous water trail along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

McCaleb said she’s been excited about the possibilities of the plan since it was first introduced some time ago.

“I just think we’re in an ideal location to use all of the water available to us,” she said.

According to the environmental council, water trails are designated routes on navigable waterways designed to foster education and recreation. They provide safe access to and information about waterways, and provide connections to cultural, historical and other attractions.

“We have a connected system of Lake Michigan, Spring Lake and the bayous,” McCaleb said. “We have this amazing potential of water trails.”

With about 1,067 square miles of water area in Ottawa County, there is not shortage of space for watersports.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Former Grandhavenite

Water trails are a cool idea. There are some self-guided kayak tours and other types of water trails on the rivers out here, and they're a lot of fun.

If they truly want to promote the waterways in Michigan though, they need to focus on public enemy number one: the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and the horde of ravenous Asian carp slowly but surely advancing toward the lake. Every day that canal remains open is basically a game of Russian roulette of whether a few carp will make it through the electrical barriers.


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