This week's open houses on the Boardman River Sub-Watershed Prosperity Plan are a first step in a year-long planning process.
A virtual open house and survey questions will be available next week online at www.theboardman.org, said Shanna Draheim of Public Sector Consultants, hired by the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay to develop the plan.
Over the next several weeks, consultants will take information gathered at the open houses and meet with the Prosperity Plan Leadership Team to come up with scenarios for activities in each "character zone" that would contribute to the area's prosperity, including ecological factors, restoration and recreation. From there, they'll work with the team to establish goals, Draheim said. Public input also will be sought as the parties develop a written plan that will include funding options and other details.
"The primary goal is to protect and restore water quality," Draheim said. "It's the primary and key driver of this plan. In a place like this, if you don't have high quality water, you don't have a lot of what makes this region's economy strong and quality of life high."
Initial public updates and summaries of the planning process are expected to be available online by October, she said.
Rotary Charities of Traverse City and the Great Lakes Fishery Trust provided funds for the prosperity plan.