Who We Are
The West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission is a federal and state designated regional planning and development agency serving 120 local governments in Lake, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties.
WMSRDC is also the planning agency for the metropolitan transportation planning (MPO) program for Muskegon and Northern Ottawa Counties.
The Commission’s mission is to “promote and foster regional development in West Michigan through cooperation amongst local governments and regional partners.”
The general regional goal of the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission is to provide assistance to member local governments in addressing regional and public policy issues, especially as they pertain to planning and development.
The below statements were developed by the Commission staff in the Spring of 2020 as an organization-wide project to expand upon the Commission’s mission statement. “We” in the statements refer to the Commission and its staff.
WHY do we do what we do?
We believe that West Michigan is an amazing place with tremendous opportunity, and that regional planning improves the quality of life for all residents. We are passionate about helping the region reach its full potential and committed to do our part to make a difference in the place we call “home.”
HOW do we do it?
By leveraging the programs of the Commission and utilizing staff expertise to provide local resources through cross jurisdictional collaborative partnerships, involvement of diverse stakeholders, and empowerment of local decision makers.
WHAT do we do?
Perform local, state and federal planning functions through programs in transportation, economic development, environmental, and local government services that provide funding and project eligibility to our region.
Watch a video about regional development organizations like WMSRDC “Leading the Way on Resilience”
The Commission defines equity as the intentional inclusion of everyone in society. Equity is achieved when systemic, institutional, and historical barriers based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and other identities and abilities are dismantled and no longer predict socioeconomic, education, and health outcomes.
The Commission recognizes structural racism and other forms of oppression have contributed to persistent disparities which the Commission seeks to dismantle within its region. The Commission strives to engage community members, especially those whose voices have traditionally been marginalized. The Commission works with local governments, residents, and public and private partners to provide resources, support, and opportunities that create prosperous and thriving communities for all citizens.
The Commission also strives to provide a work environment that recognizes individual differences, is free from discrimination, and is respectful of the rights and dignity of all individuals. The Commission has built its reputation on the foundations of excellence and integrity, and expects its employees to exhibit behaviors consistent with these standards.
Therefore, the Commission commits to leveraging our resources and assets to create more equitable communities through the programs it administers, as well as to develop racially conscious partnerships and processes that anticipate unintended outcomes to ensure the inclusion of all people in the region and organization.
Did You Know?
- WMSRDC Executive Director, Erin Kuhn is immediate past president of the Michigan Association of Regions (MAR). MAR is committed to the advancement and advocacy of Michigan’s planning regions as a means to support sustainable, collaborative communities and a strong state.
- The United States Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) has made over 40 investments in the region since 1966, most of which were facilitated by WMSRDC.
- WMSRDC is working with the West Michigan Watershed Partners to develop a West Michigan Water Quality Plan and a funding strategy to implement clean water practices.
- On average, WMSRDC completes two to three Master Plans and/or Recreation Plans for local communities per year.
- WMSRDC’s Kathy Evans (retired) is in the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame.
- In 2012 WMSRDC became the first and only regional council in the United States to sign a contract with a dog! Yes, that is true. WMSRDC signed a contract with Environmental Canine Services (ECS) for a Muskegon Lake Watershed Project to identify problem areas of sewage leaks.
- WMSRDC celebrated its 50th anniversary in the year 2020.
- The Region 14 Rural Transportation Task Force, administered by WMSRDC, invested over $4,000,000 of combined federal, state, local funding, in rural transportation projects in Lake, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana counties in FY 2021.
- WMSRDC implemented over $30 million of natural fish and wildlife habitat restoration in the lower Muskegon River watershed and along the Muskegon Lake shoreline from 2009-2020 with federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant funds and American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grant funds.
- WMSRDC publishes a bi-monthly newsletter that is mailed to over 500 recipients. The newsletter is also available on this website.
- WMSRDC administrates the Region 14 Rural Transportation Task Force.
- WMSRDC is collaborating with a four-state Lake Michigan Trail Network to promote development of a multi-modal trail network and a 1,600 mile continuous loop non-motorized water trail around Lake Michigan.
- 91% of residents surveyed are aware of Clean Air Action Days due to the cooperative efforts of WMSRDC’s Clean Air Action Program and the West Michigan Clean Air Coalition.
- WMSRDC continues to host a series of regional forums developed to help local communities learn more about pertinent planning and development subjects.
- WMSRDC is currently implementing $15 million of fish and wildlife restoration and water quality improvements in the Muskegon River/Muskegon Lake Watershed with Great Lakes Restoration Initiative/NOAA funds.
- In 2022, WMSRDC administered over $87 million in federal, state, and local transportation projects (highway and transit) through the MPO program.
- WMSRDC was designated an Economic Development District (EDD) by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) in 1975. WMSRDC maintains that designation to this day.
- WMSRDC offers GIS mapping and printing services to communities in the region.
WMSRDC Board of Commissioners FY 2023 Meeting Schedule
(find agendas and meeting minutes here)
Monday, November 28, 2022 Newaygo County
Monday, January 23, 2023 Muskegon County
Monday, March 27, 2023 Mason County
Monday, May 22, 2023 Lake County
Monday, July 24, 2023 Oceana County
Monday, September 18, 2023 Muskegon County
Additional meetings at the call of the chair. All meetings are at 10:00 a.m. Please contact WMSRDC for location details.
WMSRDC Board of Commissioners
|Jennifer Hodges, Chairperson||Supervisor, Muskegon Charter Township|
|Kathy Winczewski, Vice-Chairperson||Councilperson, City of Ludington|
|James Rynberg, Secretary||Mayor, City of Fremont|
|Ron Bacon||Mason County Commissioner|
|Tim Beggs||Oceana County Commissioner|
|Kim Cyr||Muskegon County Commissioner|
|Rachel Gorman||Commissioner At-Large, City of Muskegon|
|Michelle Hazekamp||Muskegon County Commissioner|
|Marcia Hovey-Wright||Muskegon County Commissioner|
|James Kelly||WMSRDC Appointee|
|Bryan Kolk||Newaygo County Commissioner|
|Andrea Large||WMSRDC Appointee|
|Bonnie McGlothin||Councilperson, City of Muskegon Heights|
|Paul Mellema||Newaygo County Commissioner|
|Roger Morgenstern||Councilperson, City of Norton Shores|
|Phil Morse||Oceana County Commissioner|
|John Selmon||President, Muskegon Community College|
|Lewis Squires||Mason County Commissioner|
|Clyde Welford||Lake County Commissioner|
|Wendy Wells||Talent Pipeline Coordinator, West Shore Community College|
|Jonathan Wilson||WMSRDC Appointee|