Bay City, Michigan is a great maritime city and here are my top 5 reasons why:
- Homeport of BaySail, a private non-profit organization dedicated to promoting environmental stewardship of the Saginaw Bay and the Great Lakes through engaging shipboard experiences aboard two schooners, the Appledore IV and Appledore V. Baysail programs include science education for K-12 school groups, overnight voyaging for youth and adults, public sails, charters, group tours, and port visits.
- Official Host Port of the American Sail Training Associations TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE Series three (3) times. (2001,2003 and 2006)
- Two time winner of the American Sail Training Association prestigious Port of the Year Award. (2001 and 2006)
- Host of the American Sail Training Association’s 2005 Annual Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships and International Safety at Sea Forum.
- Recent announced plans for a Maritime Heritage Center. (Study gives thumbs up to maritime heritage center idea – Bay City Times – August 19, 2007)
According to a report in the August 21, 2007 Bay City Times (City clears way for maritime heritage center.)
The project is expected to include a combination of buildings that will support different functions such as a boat building and repair shop, blacksmith shop, rope-making facility, sail-making loft, gift shop, restaurant and host of other activities.
Here is a report from ABC12.com:
Bay City was always one of my favorite port partners when I was ASTA executive director. It is a small city on which the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE seemed to leave a large impact. It is always one of the favorite ports in the Great Lakes for the tall ships fleet despite it being relatively difficult to get to as a result of being up a river and past a number of bridges.
The Bay City “difference” is its people. From the community leaders, whose vision is to create a world class facility that will celebrate the area’s rich maritime heritage and attract thousands of visitors each year, to all of the citizens who volunteer significant time and effort to make sure visiting ships are treated with the highest and most generous levels of hospitality, to the educators, who recognize the benefit of using the sail training platform to teach young people lessons about the importance of the marine environment, Bay City gets it!
There is a lot of hard work ahead to make the vision of the Maritime Heritage Center a reality. But the rich local history, the proximity to Detroit and the community’s track record in making things happen, lead me to believe that this is going to be a project to watch and to visit in 2010 when the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE is scheduled to return.