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 resources through collaborative partnerships that cross jurisdictional boundaries, 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.
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 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.
- Approximately 40-50 projects seeking federal funds are sent to the Commission for the Federal Project Review System each year.
- WMSRDC is working with West Michigan Watershed groups and regional planning 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 is in the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame.
- WMSRDC offers GIS mapping and printing services to communities in the region.
- 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 is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
- 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 2019.
- 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 $12 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 2019 WMSRDC administered over $35 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 Board of Commissioners
|Bonnie McGlothin, Chairperson||Councilperson, City of Muskegon Heights|
|Dale Nesbary, Vice-Chairperson||Muskegon Community College|
|James Maike, Secretary||Newaygo County Commissioner|
|Ron Bacon||Mason County Commissioner|
|Kay Beecham||Councilperson, City of Norton Shores|
|Ron Christians||Oceana County Commissioner|
|Jennifer Hodges||Supervisor, Muskegon Township|
|Rich Houtteman||WMSRDC Appointee|
|Marcia Hovey-Wright||Muskegon County Commissioner|
|Ken Johnson||Commissioner, City of Muskegon|
|James Kelly||WMSRDC Appointee|
|Brian Kolk||Newaygo County Commissioner|
|Andrea Large||WMSRDC Appointee|
|Phil Morse||Oceana County Commissioner|
|James Rynberg||Mayor, City of Fremont|
|Bob Scolnik||Muskegon County Commissioner|
|Lewis Squires||Mason County Commissioner|
|Len Todd||Lake County Commissioner|
|Rillastine Wilkins||Muskegon County Commissioner|
|Kathy Winczewski||Councilperson, City of Ludington|
|Crystal Young||West Shore Community College|