Water Resources in Your Town and
Their Contributions to a More Vibrant Community

Evaluate Your Community’s Relationships with Michigan’s Unique Water Resources

The Community Vibrancy Dashboard, presented by the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, with technical support from the Institute of Water Research at Michigan State University, is a tool for measuring and evaluating the role that local water-related projects play in enhancing people’s connections to water and contributing to overall community vibrancy. Funding for this project was provided through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

We are investigating the extent to which water resource development projects have made positive contributions to local communities. Water-related projects might include habitat restoration; beach, river, or stream cleanup; creating waterfront parks, river walks, kayak trails; marina and harbor redevelopment; fishing piers; and so on. The Dashboard will help us measure the value of such projects to our communities.

Over the past year, we have been working with local leaders, planners, businesses, Native American tribes, residents, and other stakeholder groups in the coastal cities of Alpena, Manistee, Port Huron, and Sault Ste. Marie to determine what defines community vibrancy, well-being, and sense of place that can be enhanced by investment in water resource planning, development, volunteerism, and philanthropy.

The Dashboard is designed to ask people about their connection to water and whether and how they and their communities include water amenities in their day-to-day activities and long-term decision making. Feedback from the dashboard allows community leaders to set project goals and measure progress toward meeting those goals. They can also compare their communities with others conducting similar projects. The Dashboard provides valuable feedback regarding the effectiveness of water management programs sponsored by the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes.

We thank you for your interest and participation in the Community Vibrancy Dashboard.