MARQUETTE - The city of Marquette will conduct the second of three waterfront usage workshops next week.
The workshop is set for 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Presque Isle Park Pavilion. The pubic is invited to attend the workshop, the goal of which is to better understand the various ways in which the public uses Marquette's Lake Superior shoreline.
"It's data gathering," said Karl Zueger, the city's director of community services. "It's not necessarily us lecturing at the public, but them telling us how they use the waterfront."
The city of Marquette includes a long stretch of Lake Superior shoreline and city officials are holding a series of public workshops to hear from residents how best to use the waterfront, including the section that houses the old U.S. Coast Guard station shown above. (Journal file photo by Dave Schneider)
City staff will be on-hand to facilitate a discussion about waterfront usage, and the data gathered will be used during updating of the Community Master Plan.
The Marquette City Planning Commission is working to update the master plan, which is intended to undergo a revision process every five years. The current plan is more than eight years old.
In early public visioning sessions, planning commissioners heard a great deal of public interest in the future plans for the city waterfront, Zueger said.
"I think that's sort of the root of it, the foundation," he said. "The question came from the commission: What are we doing with our waterfront? What is the direction of our waterfront? That's hard to understand if you don't have an idea of how it's being used."
The city sent letters inviting more than 100 local groups - as varied as Cliffs Natural Resources and the Lake Superior Theater - to attend the sessions. The first meeting was held in June and the final one will likely take place in August.
"Our goal was to first identify all of these groups, whether it be our large industrial users like We Energies, or a surfing group," said Zueger, who estimated that representatives from 10 to 15 of those groups turned out for the first session in June.
The clear indication, according to Zueger, has been that the lake is important to everyone in Marquette, from those shipping resources across it to those simply viewing its waters.
"It's obvious that our waterfront is an incredible asset," Zueger said. "When you look at the list of user groups, it's obvious the waterfront touches every soul in Marquette."
The city has also established a website related to the process of updating the master plan at www.mqtcty.org/vision.
Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.