Active Waterfront Possibilities

We are the first to admit this is NOT ideal, nor the highest and best use of the dock. But, in the short term, it makes this project feasible and without it, not. Once pedestrians have a way to safely get across the highway (think medians with safe at-grade crossings, bridges, tunnels, shuttles, trams, trolleys) to remote parking lots, we can move parking off the dock. Those solutions will take time and money, but when they are in place, parking can be moved off the dock to free up activity space. In the meantime, there is room around the perimeter for fishing, picnicking, strolling and interpretive displays.

With the Community Harbor, Pier & Marina, the public will be able to engage in a variety of water-related activities. The Harbor & Pier will be focused on public benefit; the separate, adjacent Marina will be a fee-based area that will support the Community Harbor.

Community Harbor & Pier Goals

The goals of the Discovery Community Harbor & Pier as currently envisioned are as follows.

1. To provide a location for the partners in the Discovery Center to operate and display their vessels, including:

a. Maritime Heritage Alliance’s historic tall ships, such as the Madeline, Champion,and numerous other boats, including voyageur canoes, Mackinaw boats, etc.

b. Traverse Tall Ship Company’s schooner Manitou

c. Watershed Center’s research and education vessel, Bay Monitor

d. Traverse Area Community Sailing’s High School Sailing fleet and planned keel-boat fleet

e. Possibly the Inland Seas schoolship, programs, and activities

2. To create a public gateway to West Bay, providing public access to this public asset, enabling our community and its many visitors to engage in a wide range of possible activities:

a. Tour historic tall ships and encounter maritime history

b. Cruise the Bay on historic tall ships including Traverse Tall Ship Co.’s schooner Manitou

c. Charter a captained Great Lakes fishing boat from a fleet centered at the Community Harbor

d. Fish from the east wall and have access to a fish-cleaning station for all anglers

e. Ride a water taxi across the Bay to Clinch Park, Power Island, etc.

f. Hire bare-boat and captained sailing charters and engage in learn-to-sail courses

g. Sail the Bay on one of several types of sailboats in a membership-based fleet

h. Dive the Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve from a Community Harbor-based charter boat

i. Enjoy a pedestrian access point to the water, similar to Traverse City’s Open Space

j. Learn about the historical and environmental significance of the Bay and the Great Lakes

k. Attend water-based events such as regattas and fishing derbies, as well as other community events

l. Embark on and disembark from cruise ships and excursion boats plying the waters of the Bay

3. To reach out to under-served, disadvantaged, and/or special-needs populations and provide them with opportunities that might not otherwise be available to them, so that they may have access the water as described above.

Community Marina Goals

The goals of the Discovery Community Marina are as follows.

1. To generate revenue to support and sustain the Discovery Center partners and their respective missions with a seasonal Marina, with slip fees supporting the Community Harbor and the Discovery Center

2. To become the endowment that will make possible and sustain a long-range facility expansion for the Discovery Center

3. To provide community-minded boat owners with access to West Bay through rental slips, with possible discounts available to those who volunteer for the Discovery Center

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