Saugatuck Dunes Save Our Shoreline

$14,228 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 114 people in 7 months
This is a current photograph of Saugatuck's Historic Kalamazoo River Mouth Neighborhood.

The big bald scar in the middle is where self-described "environmentally sensitive" developers are destroying dunes in expectation of being granted permission to dig a new river channel for a boat basin surrounded by expensive houses.

There are few words, none polite, to describe this kind of destruction.

This destruction is being perpetrated by the Holland-based NorthShore of Saugatuck development team of Jeff Padnos, Holland lawyer Carl Gabrielse, FifthThird Bank, Cottage Home, and Brian and Scott Bosgraaf.

This destruction violates local zoning that clearly states: "In no event shall a canal or channel be excavated for the purpose of increasing the water frontage."

This destruction is considered sand dune mining and was outlawed in 1998.

This destruction is contrary to the Public Interest established in the Tri-Community Master Plan.

This harbor mouth landscape has been the key to the Saugatuck tourist industry that supports some 90% of the local economy. Why would anyone want to harm this beloved community by destroying this rare and beautiful place forever? (It isn't just to make a reasonable return on investment either!)

If this Holland-based development team wants a place for big boats they should look at buying Tower Marine, or better yet putting it on the shores of Lake Macatawa where the Padnos family already owns land.GoFundMe is only a part of our fundraising - we are well on our way and confident in our ability to meet this goal. 
Older Homes

Based on what we were told, the houses would be "back in the trees," this recent photo, from the beach,  is what we expected.

And THIS  recent photo, from the water, shows work in progress on the multi-million $$ homes being built. 


Matching Grant:  We qualified
 for our exciting  $30,000 in matching funds.  We gained over 100 new or renewing members at the $100 or greater level.  Some of those contributions were made via our website or via check to SDCA in US Postal Service.

Ongoing fundraising:   We will continue to need MORE donations to cover ongoing legal expenses. Please be generous and stay tuned for future matching grant opportunities.

If you are not already a member of SDCA please join after donating.  To join go to our website - https://saugatuckdunescoastalalliance.com/join/

Thank you to everyone who  submitted  comments to The US Army Corps of Engineers!

Anyone who lives in our community recognizes the importance of protecting the Historic River Mouth Neighborhood -- Singapore, Oxbow, the Saugatuck Lighthouse Cottage, and the many Pottawatomie sites. 

We will keep you apprised as to the outcome.
The Saugatuck Dunes in Saugatuck Michigan are being threatened again. Help us Save our Saugatuck Shoreline from a 50-yacht marina for 100'+ yachts.

The proposed marina would add nearly triple the legal number of boats at the most congested part of the Kalamazoo River making navigation unsafe, harming the character of the dunes, and threatening the unique interdunal wetlands. The proposed marina violates local zoning that clearly states, ‘In no event shall a canal or channel be excavated for the purpose of increasing the waterfrontage.’ 

Together we can continue the fight to enforce local, state, and federal laws that protect our water, our sand, our beaches and other navigational, historical, ecological, cultural, recreational, educational resources– all at the undeveloped mouth of the Kalamazoo River.  

How big is the  "Marina"?

The 50-yacht private marina - really a huge trench -  would be as big as 5.5 football fields, would be 18' deep, and would mean removing 241,750 cubic yards of sand - and putting it somewhere

If you were to walk out your front door in the morning, 
what would this much sand look like?

75 Olympic Swimming pools
Or - 20,000 dump trucks
Or - a football field 90 feet tall

What else is at risk?
"...such as a Native American burial ground believed to be on the site. (There are many) other unresolved concerns about interdunal wetlands being at risk, the basin and subsequent structures altering the site’s natural hydrology, filter/pumps needed to circulate basin water may harm resident wildlife, buried toxic hazards may remain from the former Broward Marine yacht manufacturing plant on the site (not cited in claims about the land’s prior archeological heritage or significance) and improper influence." The Commercial Record

Who We Are
The The Coastal Alliance is a coalition of individuals and organizations working cooperatively to protect and preserve the natural geography, historical heritage, and rural character of the Saugatuck Dunes coastal region in the Kalamazoo River Watershed, beginning with the Saugatuck Dunes.

The Coastal Alliance is represented by Olson/Bzdok/Howard of Traverse City and the Environmental Law & Policy Center. We work closely with a team of scientists, biologists, planners, conservation designers, historians, geohydrologists, marina consultants, GIS cartographers, and graphic designers.

The Wild Heart of Saugatuck

WE NEED YOUR HELP to stop the threats to the law, to the purity & safety of our sand & water, and to the safe navigation of boats in the Kalamazoo River and Lake Michigan river mouth.

RECENT: Patty Birkholz passed away in May 2018. The Coastal Alliance sends its deepest sympathies to Patty’s family and the community at large. We are also humbled and grateful that the Alliance is one of the three organizations that her family has requested donations to in her honor. We hope you will consider this at either gofundme.com/save-our-saugatuck-shoreline or at saugatuckdunescoastalalliance.com.

All of donations are being used to enforce the local and state laws aimed at protecting the Patricia Birkholz Natural Area from the impacts of the proposed marina development.

Her legacy is so deep and inspiring. We are so much better for all she did and so bereft at losing her way too soon. To know Patty was to be filled with strength and love. We send our heartfelt wishes to our champion's family and to all of those that have been inspired by her life.

Her obituary can be found at https://dykstrafuneralhome.com/obituaries/patty-birkholz.122023.

Thank you - whatever you can give will help.

If you give $125 or more we will be happy to send you a copy of our lovely coffee table book, The Saugatuck Dunes; Artists Respond to a Freshwater Landscape . Click to take a look insider the book :)

Please give now.
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Some welcome news going into the Labor Day weekend: The Coastal Alliance has been granted consulting party status in the Army Corps of Engineer Section 106 Historic Site Review. We will be allowed to participate in the negotiations to find a mitigation solution to the proposed damage of the historic site of Singapore by the proposed Padnos marina.

These artifacts were found during the archeological review - and one prehistoric flake of stone!
Shards found
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Fundraising Success - By gaining over 100 new or renewing members since April at the $100 or greater level we met our matching grant challenge and will soon receive $30,000 to cover legal expenses as we continue to fight the Padnos Marina.

Remember - It's Not A Done Deal. The proposed marina violates local zoning and state law and it is contrary to the public interests.
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The Coastal Alliance is fortunate to work with articulate deeply-knowledgeable attorney, Scott Howard, Here is Scott's response to a reporter's question about standing:
"This is an important victory for the Coastal Alliance. The Developer has repeatedly attempted to block challenges to the project on procedural grounds in order to consistently avoid talking about the dramatic impacts the large scale-dredging plan will have on the Kalamazoo River watershed. The Judge rejected the developer’s tactics and the Coastal Alliance will now have its day in court. This is a win for the community and its natural resources."

Picture of the planned trench overlaid old map of Singapore.
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THANK YOU everyone for your donations! 4 more....4 more...4 more we need only 4 more donations/membership at $100 or more to make our match and receive $30,000 from a generous donor. Please tip us over tonight :)
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$14,228 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 114 people in 7 months
Funds raised will benefit:
Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance
  Certified Charity
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Saugatuck, MI
EIN: 260503609
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