MUSKEGON – The West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) and the Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership (MLWP) will host a workshop to educate the public, landowners, parks maintenance staff, teachers, students and volunteers on natural shoreline habitat and best management practices.

As Muskegon Lake nears delisting as one of the Great Lakes Areas of Concern, it will be vital that a community of stewards understand how to maintain the substantial restoration work that has been done in and around the lake over the past few decades. Engaged citizens will be essential to carry on this environmental ethic into the future to help continue this interest in maintaining a desirable and healthy lake and watershed.

In order to engage citizens, the MLWP has initiated a Muskegon Lake Shoreline Stewards program. Volunteers and sponsors are needed to adopt and care for restored shoreline habitat at several restored habitats around the lake.

Teachers and students are needed to monitor restored habitat and to use the shoreline as an outdoor classroom for a better understanding about the dynamics of Great Lakes ecosystems. Landowners are needed to restore and maintain native plantings for the benefit of their own property and for the social, economic and environmental benefits that restored, natural shorelines provide to communities.

As part of this effort, a Natural Shoreline Landscape Workshop will be held on Saturday, March 7, at Muskegon Community College.

The workshop is open to the public. It will be of particular interest to public landowners, maintenance staff, private shoreline landowners, hands-on volunteers, business sponsors and educators.

Workshop speakers include: Brian Majka, GEI Consultants; Julia Kirkwood, EGLE Michigan Natural Shorelines Partnership; Melanie Manion, Ottawa County Parks; Janet Vail, GVSU Annis Water Resources Institute; Erica Johnson, MAISD Math Science Center/Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. A variety of West Michigan conservation organizations and agencies will also be on hand with informational displays and handouts.

The workshop will feature a morning plenary in the Overbrook Theater, followed by lunch and networking in Collegiate Hall. A registration fee of $10.00 will cover food and refreshments.

Participants are asked to register by Feb. 26, 2020.

To register and to find out more about how you can be involved, please send an e-mail to Kathy Evans, West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, at kevans@wmsrdc.org or call (231) 722-7878 x 17.