Posted: Jun 1, 2018

Welcome back!

For those community members just returning for the summer months there are seven key points to know about the proposed Padnos marina at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River.


the Coastal Alliance, along with the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi and the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, have appealed the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality decision to permit the proposed Padnos marina.


the marina does not have all the approvals necessary to move forward. The Army Corps has not yet made its decision. This is a long way from being finalized.


the Coastal Alliance has appealed the Saugatuck Township Planning Commission approval of a special use variance for the proposed Padnos marina to Michigan’s Appellate Court.


the Coastal Alliance has sued Jeff Padnos for a Nuisance per se for pursuing a development that he knows is against local zoning. Our local zoning clearly states in Section. 40-910. (h): In no event shall a canal or channel be excavated for the purpose of increasing the Water Frontage required by this section. Jeff Padnos only owns 1400’ on the Kalamazoo River. He wants to add an additional 3200’ and more than double the permissible number of large boats.


The Coastal Alliance was recently sued by Jeff Padnos for a vexatious claim – – he claimed the Coastal Alliance had no basis for our appeals to the ZBA, Circuit Court, and the DEQ. He sued us for damages totaling nearly $10,000. During oral arguments, the Padnos lawyer even mentioned punitive damages.

Jeff Padnos lost his lawsuit.

Jeff Padnos sued us as a way to silence our voices; to intimidate us.

The Coastal Alliance will not be silenced by the legal threats of Jeff Padnos, and his lawyer Carl J. Gabrielse, the former Holland deputy attorney.


given our three-pronged legal strategy to enforce local, state, and federal laws that prohibit the proposed Padnos Marina we have announced a major fund-raising campaign.
If you search for Save Our Saugatuck Shoreline on the Go-Fund-Me website you will find details of our campaign:

We are grateful to the Birkholz family for asking that donations be made to the Coastal Alliance in honor of Patty Birkholz. Patty recently passed after a brief battle with cancer. It is Patty who helped found Saugatuck Dunes State Park and Natural Area. Patty has been one of our primary inspirations, remarkable mentor, and vocal supporter. She even joined, as a member of the Coastal Alliance, the lawsuit against Jeff Padnos.

In the eight years the Coastal Alliance has been a registered 501C3 non-profit we have had hundreds of individuals financially support our work.


the Coastal Alliance voices – based in science, economics, public policy, community & cultural values, and the law — will continue to be raised, loudly.

The list of organizations and individuals who oppose the proposed Padnos marina continues to grow. The list includes:
The National Trust for Historic Preservation
An estimated 750,000 members/supporters
The Michigan Environmental Council
70 organizations representing tens of thousands of Michiganders
The Michigan League of Conservation Voters
The West Michigan Environmental Action Council
The Michigan Historic Preservation Network
Great Lakes Environmental Law Center
FLOW: For Love of Water
Environmental Law & Policy Center
Freshwater Future
Michigan Audubon Society
Clean Water Action
Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance
Sierra Club-Michigan Chapter
Lone Tree Council
Kalamazoo River Protection Association
Preserve the Dunes
The 35,000 individuals who signed a petition to the Army Corps asking that the Marina application be denied.
The many local business owners and neighbors who have signed affidavits articulating how their lives will be negatively impacted by the proposed Padnos Marina.
And two federally-recognized tribal nations: the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi and the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians

Please join us. Together we can stop this illegal marina.