Plying the waters – whether inland or the Great Lakes – is a longtime tradition in Michigan. The numbers speak for themselves, with the state consistently ranking in the top three in the number of boat registrations.
But that’s to be expected when you’re called the Great Lakes State and can boast 3,000 miles of freshwater coastline and more than 11,000 inland lakes. Michigan residents of all ages have experienced the thrill of the wind in their face as the outboard is opened up, or have bonded with family and friends aboard a leisurely pontoon ride.
To promote enjoyment of our water wonderland, more than 1,300 public access sites and over 80 harbors and marinas are provided throughout the state. We are also committed to protecting our spectacular waterways through scientific management to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy this unique resource.
How does conservation benefit boaters?
The protection of our aquatic resources is essential not only to everyday living in Michigan but also to enhancing boating adventures and caring for the wildlife that rely on waterways.
Keeping water clean
Cleaning up the water happens at many levels in Michigan, from government environmental regulations to community groups organizing river cleanup afternoons.
Keeping out invasive species
Invasive species, such as the Asian carp, can have a disastrous effect on our waters, which is why Michigan participates in the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee and takes other measures to protect native species from invaders.
Fostering aquatic habitats
Many boaters are also fishing enthusiasts who enjoy the benefit of water-related conservation efforts that include creating, promoting, maintaining and enhancing diverse fishing opportunities through species and habitat management.
You can learn more about these and many other conservation practices on our Wildlife Conservation page.