Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Post fellowship re-cap and links to working waterfront resources

Thanks for checking back and apologies for the lack of blog posts during my busy fellowship!

I finished my Coastal Management Fellowship with the Michigan Coastal Zone Management Program and Michigan Sea Grant at the end of August and wanted to share a summary of my experiences and links to new working waterfront resources.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work in the Office of the Great Lakes (OGL) in Lansing for my first year and with Sea Grant Extension in coastal Traverse City for the second half of the fellowship. I really appreciate the valuable experience I gained in each office and the opportunity to build a diverse network and engage in both state wide and local initiatives and groups as a result of this partnership between OGL and Sea Grant. I also really enjoyed the opportunity to travel around the state to meet with planners and waterfront stakeholders in many coastal communities.

The fellowship offered me a tremendous opportunity to develop professionally. Some of the highlights include:
  • Attending and presenting at numerous conferences
  • Developing a comprehensive report and preparing case studies about working waterfronts
  • Participating in the National Working Waterfront Network
  • Advancing my understanding of coastal land use planning and Waterfront Smart Growth
  • Convening and working with an external advisory committee. 
The fellowship project helped to advance understanding of local and statewide needs, opportunities, and challenges with respect to waterfront planning and maintaining the viability of water dependent uses. Partnerships that emerged from addressing statewide waterfront access issues and from this project are now engaged in preparing coastal planning and development guidance for waterfront communities as well as increasing the accessibility and presence of tools and resources for managing waterfronts.

If you are interested in learning more about Michigan’s working waterfronts, the economic value of working waterfronts, examples of best practices for maintaining water dependent and enhanced uses, and recommended next steps, please check out Michigan Sea Grant’s Vibrant Waterfront Communities webpage: http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/explore/coastal-communities/vibrant-waterfront-communities-case-studies/

To learn more about working waterfronts around the country and tools and resources available to support these valuable assets, please visit the National Working Waterfront network website: http://www.wateraccessus.com/.

Thanks for reading!

 Liz Durfee
NOAA Coastal Management Fellow
(8/2011 – 8/2013)

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