“We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.”
Freshwater Future is proud to present the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance with a Grassroots Advocate Award. They have faced years of zoning battles and lawsuits to protect nearly 500 acres of sensitive coastal dunes along the southern Lake Michigan coast from a nine-story hotel, 66-slip marina, and golf course. Despite the challenges, the volunteer led Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance has used creativity and strategy to achieve significant wins. In December of 2009, working with several other organizations they helped to get a large grant and raise funds to purchase 171 acres of dunes, held by the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. This acquisition is a huge step toward protecting the dunes in this area. Thanks to the efforts of the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance this past May, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Saugatuck Dunes one of 11 most endangered historic places. Receiving the listing from the National Trust has brought national attention to the need to protect the valuable dunes that contain the ghost town of Singapore, a former port and lumber town that lies buried beneath the dunes. The area has long been known as a place for artists to go, the group captilized on this by creating a coffee table book of art that they sold with proceeds supporting efforts to protect the dunes.
Freshwater Future is proud to present Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance with this award for their ingenuity, perserverance, and group involvement and commitment to protect these special dunes.
For more information about the efforts of Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance visit: www.sau gatuckdunescoastalalliance.com.