Tuesday, September 27, 6:30 p.m.
Saugatuck Center for the Arts


September 16, 2022

Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance Sept. 27 Town Hall to Detail Next Steps to Protect Kalamazoo River Mouth from Sand Dune Mining and Marina

Meeting to Inform and Mobilize Citizens to Hold Local, State, and Federal Officials Accountable to Uphold Environmental Regulations and Laws

SAUGATUCK, MI – The Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance is hosting a September 27 town hall to provide area residents with an update on efforts to stop private developer NorthShore of Saugatuck from excavating and removing a quarter-million-tons of sand from within Michigan’s Critical Dune Boundary to build a private yacht marina. The proposed marina is situated between the Patty Birkholz Natural Area and the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area.

During the town hall, Coastal Alliance President David Swan will discuss and answer questions about the
local, state, and federal permits NorthShore of Saugatuck must secure for their proposed marina.  The developer has begun reapplying for a permit from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). Their original permit, granted in 2018, expires in January 2023. After NorthShore of Saugatuck completes their new application, EGLE will hold a Public Comment Period and Public Hearing. EGLE anticipates that being scheduled this fall.

“Thanks to the vigilance and persistence of the Coastal Alliance, NorthShore of Saugatuck was unable to begin or complete its marina during the five-year permit period,” notes Coastal Alliance Board Chair Bobbie Gaunt. “Key to our success in stopping this environmentally devasting project was evidence we submitted that their excavation could lower the surrounding groundwater by about 14-feet – about the height of a one-story house.” The proposed development would also forever erase more than 6.5 acres from the Critical Dune map for private, commercial gain. It would put the endangered Lake Sturgeon at further risk, destroy elements of the historic site of Singapore, and dock 50 yachts at the most congested part of the river mouth.

“We are encouraging people to bring their laptops and notepads to the Town Hall so they can prepare to write letters to local elected officials and state regulators to ensure our voices are heard,” said Swan. “The town hall will also prepare people to submit informed comments to EGLE this fall.”

The town hall will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St. in Saugatuck. A reception with refreshments will follow.

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The Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance is a coalition of individuals and organizations working cooperatively to protect and preserve the natural geography, historical heritage, and rural character of the Saugatuck Dunes coastal region in the Kalamazoo River Watershed, beginning with the Saugatuck Dunes.



With over one million visitors each year, it makes sound economic sense to protect and preserve what attracts visitors to the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal region in the first place. Throughout the last hundred years, much of that attraction has been our unique natural heritage: the dynamic splendor of Lake Michigan, our beautiful beaches, the Saugatuck Dunes, the tranquil woods, and running through the middle of it all—creating stunning vistas of land and water from every angle—the Kalamazoo River flows through the Harbor and out into the Lake. To be here is to be a part of two worlds: one on land and one on water.

The Saugatuck Dunes Artists Respond to a Freshwater Landscape

All proceeds from sales of this book will support the work of the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance, dedicated to protecting and preserving the character of this rare landscape.

Kalamazoo river channel Saugatuck
Kalamazoo river channel Saugatuck
Kalamazoo river channel Saugatuck
Kalamazoo river channel Saugatuck
Kalamazoo river channel Saugatuck
Kalamazoo river channel Saugatuck

See our gallery here with more spectacular imagery of the Saugatuck dunes and lakeshore.

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