Plans for a new Marina, with transient docking, in downtown Marine City have received a significant boost from the Community Foundation of St. Clair County with $393,000 grant. This latest major funding leverages other recent grants from the DNR Trust Fund, SEMCOG, St. Clair County and the Community Foundation.
“Support for this new marina project in Marine City just keeps growing,” said City Manager Scott Adkins. “The City is excited about how relatively quickly funding and support from our partners has come together – it’s a great asset for the whole community,” he added.
In 2021 the marina project was voted as one of the region’s most important new developments by the Blue Meets Green coalition, which is a large regional group of stakeholders from every sector of the community.
“It’s not very often that a community along the shores of Michigan gets to build a new marina,” said Hale Walker, who is both Board Chair of the Community Foundation as well as Co-Chair of Blue Meets Green. “I recall very strong support from a lot of stakeholders as soon as this project was announced,” he added.
The Community Foundation of St. Clair County attributed this latest grant to their friends and partners at the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation in Detroit, which has been a significant partner on multiple projects in and around Port Huron and St. Clair County.
“The Marine City Marina District Initiative represents a major investment in the region’s future creating lasting benefits for the community, environment, and the local economy,” said Jim Boyle, vice president of programs & communications, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “The new marina will add another significant waterfront asset to the region and connect it to the larger Bridge to Bay Trail system, further enhancing the area’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities. We are proud to partner with the Community Foundation of St. Clair County and the DNR in supporting this project.”
The new marina project is a multi-phase initiative with an expected total budget of more than $1 million. It began in partnership with Six Rivers Land Conservancy and a grant of $272,000 from the DNR Trust Fund to support the initial purchase of the waterfront property on the south end of downtown Marine City. The City then received funding from both the County and Community Foundation to help cover the costs of demolishing the existing house on the property.
“This latest grant from the Community Foundation and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation will help us pay for the upcoming phases of work,” added Adkins. He noted that future new amenities such as a pavilion, restrooms, parking lot, seating, walkways and lighting will help to make the space more community friendly and compliment the newly installed ADA kayak/canoe launch across the Belle River. “This generous funding will also allow us to advance our plans to connect the new marina to the Bridge to Bay Trail which runs through our downtown – the marina property can be used as a dual trailhead for both non-motorized and waterways trails,” he said.
The Bridge to Bay Trail system is the region’s largest pedestrian trail and stretches from Algonac up to Lakeport. Several years ago a large coalition of stakeholders, led by the Community Foundation, St. Clair County Parks & Recreation, and multiple municipalities along the trail, launched an ambitious multi-year plan to complete the remaining gaps in the trail system.
“This new project in Marine City will add another amazing waterfront asset and also help us complete the remaining gaps in the Bridge to Bay Trail,” said Hale Walker. “This really is an example of the public, private and philanthropic sectors coming together to build up the prosperity and unique assets in our downtowns.”