Marine News from the Great Lakes

State harbors offer slip-specific reservations as part of pilot for 2017

Published: Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A new pilot program from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources now allows boaters to make slip-specific reservations in select Michigan state harbors during the 2017 season.

The five facilities participating in the pilot project are:

  • William G. Milliken State Harbor (Wayne County).
  • Straits State Harbor (Cheboygan County).
  • Grand Haven Marina (Ottawa County).
  • Lake St. Clair Marina (Macomb County).
  • Saint Clair Boat Harbor (St. Clair County).

Currently, when a reservation is made through the state's reservation system, the customer is guaranteed a slip at the facility. Upon arrival, the boater is assigned a specific slip by harbor staff.

Under the pilot program, boaters have the opportunity to reserve their favorite slips, reserve slips next to another boat if they want to dock together or choose which side they want to tie up. They'll know exactly what they are getting before arriving at the harbor.  

"This process will mirror reservations in our state park facilities," said Linnae Dawson, DNR recreational harbor coordinator. "Customers can make reservation decisions based on the length, width and draft of their vessels. We believe this will provide better customer service and save harbor staff time in making slip assignments."

Based on the success of this pilot project, the DNR will determine if transitioning all facilities to a slip-specific reservation system is viable and advantageous to customers.

Harbor reservations can be made up to six months in advance by visiting or calling 800-44-PARKS. This means the six-month window for May has arrived.

For more information, visit or contact Dawson at 517-290-2200 or [email protected].

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/Editor's note: An accompanying photo is available below for download. A suggested caption follows.

The Michigan DNR has launched a pilot program to allow for slip-specific reservations to be made at five select harbors, including Straits State Harbor in Mackinaw City./


tags: Dept of Natural Resources

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