Michigan Maritime Heritage Special Resource Study
On behalf of the Michigan Maritime Heritage Special Resources Study team, I would like to thank you for your interest in this study. The National Park Service was directed by Congress in the Michigan Lighthouse and Maritime Heritage Act to undertake this study of the maritime heritage resources of Michigan. The legislation, the complete study, and transmittal letters are all available under the "Documents" link on the left of this page.
Michigan maritime resources are historic resources that derive their significance from their coastal location and from their contributions to seafaring industries and activities in the state. Michigan has a vibrant tourism sector and there are many maritime resources preserved by state and local governments, private entities, and volunteers. A survey was completed of the maritime heritage resources, interpretation programs, and preservation efforts to establish a baseline from which suggestions for enhancement could be made.
The NPS found that Michigan has a wealth of maritime heritage resources, but that the number and distribution of maritime resources in the state does not lend itself to a single management option that would provide long-term protection and public awareness for all resources. A diverse suite of local and regional efforts have been effective in the past at achieving preservation, interpretation, and public awareness goals in Michigan. The NPS found that the collected efforts are well suited to the present and future challenges of preserving, interpreting, and promoting Michigan's maritime heritage resources. The NPS further found that many opportunities exist for collaboration, cross-promotion, and connectivity between their various efforts as well as the possibility for resurrecting dormant programs.
Two potential historic trail proposals were conceived as part of the study process. "Lake Huron Beacon of Hope Trail: Michigan's Lighthouses, Life Savers & Shipwrecks" would follow the Michigan coast of Lake Huron from the southernmost point to the Straits of Mackinac. "Jiimaan to Mi-shine-macki-nong: Odawa Trade Routes" would follow as closely as possible the original routes of travel used by Anishnaabek mariners and later European American explorers in the Great Lakes. These proposals are presented as possibilities for further action in the state. National historic trails need strong partner organizations to be designated and to operate, and, should such entities be formed, the proposals for these trails could be further pursued.
Managing entities and other groups are encouraged to continue to seek assistance through existing NPS programs by working with parks, the National Historic Landmarks program, the Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance program, and others. Chapter 4 contains a summary of sources of financial and technical assistance. Links to some financial and technical assistance programs can be found under "Links" on the left of this page. As an agency, the National Park Service is committed to supporting opportunities at the local and state levels to provide for preservation and public enjoyment.
Chief of Planning and Compliance
Midwest Regional Office of the National Park Service
(DOI Unified Regions 3, 4, and 5)
National Park Service
601 Riverfront Drive
Omaha, NE 68102-4226