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Advancing Stormwater Management at Marinas in the Great Lakes

Year Awarded: 2018
Awarded: $839,000
Team Leader:  Michigan Sea Grant

This team will improve nearshore water quality and habitat quality in the Great Lakes by advancing better stormwater management at Great Lakes marinas. Great Lakes marinas and the boating industry depend on clean waters and a healthy coastal environment for the success of their business. Yet, they operate on the nearshore of the Great Lakes and their tributaries, where concentrated human activity can significantly impact flora and fauna. Furthermore, the operation of marinas can cause various sources of pollution, such as sediments, pesticides, oil and road dirt, heavy metals, and nutrients to runoff into nearshore waters during storm events.

To improve stormwater management at Great Lakes marinas, the team will develop a marina-specific stormwater management decision support tool and pilot the installation of green infrastructure practices in three private marinas in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. The team will develop and implement monitoring and maintenance plans at each marina, as well as develop training curricula. They will host a technical training workshop to scale up green infrastructure practices across the nearly 1,000 marinas in the Great Lakes watershed.

The timing is right for this work to happen in the Great Lakes region as a growing number of small and medium-sized ports are transitioning from industrial to recreational uses. The team will leverage its multi-state Clean Marina program (there are currently 200 marinas certified in the region) to drive adoption of the practices identified by the tool and demonstrated in the pilots.