Small recreational harbors and private marinas offer many social and economic benefits and help build a sense of place in coastal communities. Michigan is home to more than 800 public and privately operated marinas and harbors, many of which can be found on the shores of a Great Lake.
The coastal environment is often a harsh one. Marinas and harbors around the Great Lakes experience a variety of climate conditions — and as our climate changes, they need to be ready for shorter winters, warmer temperatures, more intense storms, reduction in ice cover, and fluctuating lake levels. At the same time, the infrastructure of many marinas and harbors is aging and deteriorating, and funding necessary improvements can be a struggle.
To build resilience to climate change, marinas and harbors need access to resources and tools that will improve understanding of potential climate-related impacts and provide a suite of management practices, infrastructure improvements, and funding options. Many of the following resources emerged from Michigan Sea Grant’s Helping Marina and Harbor Operators Respond to Climate Change project. With guidance from industry experts, existing resources, and operator input, training materials were developed to guide marina and harbor operators in preparing for an uncertain future.