The environment plays a central role to determining quality of life in northern lower Michigan. Environmental policy and planning work may include, but is not limited to activities surrounding water quality, air pollutants, deforestation, wildlife corridors, etc. Historically, Networks Northwest has provided assistance to a variety of local, state, and federal agencies with regards to identifying and protecting the region’s natural assets.
A Framework for Natural resources in Northwest Michigan
Developed as part of the Framework for Our Future: A Regional Prosperity Plan for Northwest Michigan, it includes information that can serve as a compilation of best practices to help local decisionmakers and stakeholders who would like to address the issues identified in the Framework to meet their communities’ diverse natural resource needs.
A Framework for Natural Resources in Northwest Michigan
Planning for Coastal Resiliency in Northwest Michigan's Dunes
When planning for and implementing coastal resiliency measures, land use policy is among the most powerful tools available to local units of government. Planning for Coastal Resiliency in Northwest Michigan's Dunes highlights local policy impacts on coastal resiliency, and identifies planning and zoning techniques and relevent case studies that local government can consider when working to protect coastal lands while continuing to allow for their use and development. In recognition of the unique hazards found in dune areas, the guidebook focuses on dunes and other high-risk erosion areas.
Planning for Coastal Resiliency in Northwest Michigan's Dunes (PDF)
Dunes Data and Mapping Resources
The Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) has developed new coastal dunes data to support coastal resiliency planning in Northwest Michigan. Information on the type of dune, acreage, and ownership (private or public) is available online through the ArcGIS online web map application here.
MNFI has also created an online Story Map that explains this new data resource as well as provides information on the specific dune types. The story map is available here.
The Betsie River / Crystal Lake Watershed Management Plan
Watershed management planning is essential to helping communities understand and address the impacts nonpoint source (NPS) pollutants have on local rivers, lakes, wetlands, and groundwater.
The Watershed Management Plan for the Betsie River / Crystal Lake Watershed is a multi-year effort by a Steering Committee of Northwest Michigan partners, supported by a grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The Plan will help protect surface water quality by preventing or reducing non-point source pollution during the Plan’s 10-year period from 2016 through 2026.
Interactive Document (Updated 10/20/2016 at 4:30 pm)
Our Township greatly benefits from Network Northwest's experience, depth of knowledge and understanding. Because they work with so many diverse communities in our ten-county region they understand the local land-use issues and are already working on solutions by the time we realize we need some help.
- Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission