Conservationists are celebrating a recommendation to approve a $7 million grant to preserve dune-land near Saugatuck.
The grant will help the City of Saugatuck purchase the 171-acre property. The land includes thousands of feet of Lake Michigan shoreline; plus dunes, wetlands, and lakes.
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund recommended the grant 2 years ahead of schedule. The fund got a huge influx of money this summer. An auction to lease state owned land for oil and gas exploration netted record bonus payments amounting to nearly $180 million.
Lawmakers are expected to approve the grant next spring.
The Land Conservancy of West Michigan needs a total of $2.5 million from the public to preserve the dunes. The organization has 80% of that goal.