by Amy Biolchini,

Courtesy North Shores of Saugatuck

SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP, MI – A controversial marina and home development in the Lake Michigan sand dunes has gained one of two key permits it needs to move forward.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approved a permit for the North Shores of Saugatuck project Friday, Jan. 26, to build a 1,600-foot-long marina in a critical dunes area just north of Saugatuck where the Kalamazoo River meets Lake Michigan.

The permit is a rare one for the DEQ, said John Bayha, the environmental engineer overseeing the permit application. He explained¬†it’s not common for critical sand areas to be targeted for a marina development.

Read more: