The West Michigan Strategic Alliance (WMSA), a group formed in 2000 to unify West Michigan counties and make the area more attractive for people to live and work, has released a letter expressing their support for the Michigan Environmental Council’s (MEC) stance against the recent sand dune bill, SB 1130.
SB 1130 was created to weaken restrictions on residential development in areas that are designated by the DEQ to be particularly fragile, called “critical dune areas.” The bill had been moving swiftly through the state legislature before being put on hold by Governor Snyder, who felt that the bill could not go through until the stake holders involved were able to reconvene and come to a compromise.
WMSA’s condemnation of SB 1130 is consistent with one of their six focus areas for promoting green infrastructure, protecting Michigan’s shoreline and dune ecosystems. In the letter, WMSA wrote that they are primarily opposed to the way in which the bill was created and passed, stating, “Contrary to what we were led to believe this critical legislation affecting the dunes, a regional asset we have actively worked to protect since WMSA’s formation, has not been developed using good collaborative process. In fact it was being fast tracked for passage prior to the ending of the last session.” The letter urged WMSA members to contact their local representative as soon as possible to oppose this bill until real collaboration between interested parties is realized.
Learn more about SB 1130 and its implications for critical dune ares in Michigan by checking out our recent blog post.