Michigan state senators have introduced a bill to provide state funds for dredging marinas.
Senate Bill No. 215 introduced by Senators Brandenburg Hansen Casperson Booher Green Walker Robertson Jones Proos and will provide for low interest loan opportunities for marinas in need of dredging.
“The problems facing our waterways need to be addressed immediately and a long-term strategy to maintain them needs to be developed” Brandenburg said. “A dredging plan needs to be developed that will allow Michigan harbors ports and waterways to be accessible and sustainable for commercial as well as recreational use.”
Sen. John Proos said that Michigan's billion-dollar tourism industry is reliant upon recreational marinas and with Lakes Michigan and Huron at near record-low levels dredging money is badly needed.
The Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) applauded the legislation in a statement issued on February 21 saying that it will help solve the private marina dredging crisis and help thousands of boaters.
“MBIA is supportive of the governor’s plan to assist public marinas with dredging funds. This new legislation helps fix another part of the equation by helping private marinas dredge in order to provide access to boaters [using] these facilities and launch sites” the statement read.
“This is another great example of our state’s leadership working together to help Michigan’s boating industry which is critical to Michigan’s future” said MBIA Board Chairman Jim Coburn. “We commend the sponsors of this bill for their fine work in revitalizing a program that worked successfully in the past to help Michigan’s boaters.”
Michigan ranks as one of the top states in the nation in registered watercraft. Recreational boating brings a $3.9 billion to the state.