Last Chance for Public Input on BH/SJ Harbor Revitalization Plan

As the inner harbor at the confluence of the St. Joseph and Paw Paw Rivers continues to grow with new homes and town homes being erected in the Harbor Village neighborhood, and the pedestrian bridge and public pathways are enhanced, how do you envision the balance of the harbor coming to life? There are some amazing conceptual drawings of what could be in contrast to what is, and lots of opinions on what the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph harbor should look like going into the future.

A number of public sessions have been held and ideas generated for how to establish a balanced plan for the harbor into the future. Now, as more concepts become reality, you still have time for your personal input on the revitalization plan.

Having already hosted several major charrette sessions on the harbor, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Office of the Great Lakes has scheduled two final community discussion sessions as they gather public input for a plan that would re-imagine the shared harbor in St. Joseph, St. Joseph Township, and Benton Harbor, and what it could be developed into.

You are invited to one of two duplicate meetings that are planned from 4-5:30 pm and 7-8:30 pm on Tuesday, October 15th, at the Kinexus Group, located at 499 West Main Street in Benton Harbor. The goal of the department is to further engage with community members and develop long-term, sustainable strategies that will enable the local communities to maximize the benefits of the harbor and its waterfront assets.

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Public comments will help to shape a shared vision through the Twin Cities Harbor Sustainability Initiative for economic and community development along the waterfront. A final plan is expected to be presented to each city’s commission and the township board later this year.

EGLE is working in partnership with Michigan Sea Grant, Lawrence Technological University, the Harbor Conservancy, and other stakeholders to develop the Twin Cities Harbor Sustainability Initiative.

The meetings are open to the public. Transportation to each meeting is available by calling Dial-A-Ride at 269-927-4461 by 2:30 pm on October 15th to make arrangements.

For more information on the Twin Cities Harbor Sustainability Initiative, click the link below. It will share with you the original draft planning, the results of lots of public input already taken in multiple sessions, and how it all shakes out so far before this final analysis goes under the microscope:

http://SustainableSmallHarbors.org/Communities/St-Joseph-Benton-Harbor