Great Lakes Islands Summit Brings Communities Together


There are dozens of islands that dot the Great Lakes, and this fall, island community members will all get together for the first time. The first ever Great Lakes Islands Summit will take place on Beaver Island, Michigan from September 25 to 26.

Currently, members from 12 island communities — from four states and one Canadian province — plan on getting together to talk about the unique challenges that face island communities, such as internet access, having a tourist-based economy, fire and safety departments, and resources for aging residents. Attendees will also discuss ecological issues, such as rising water levels and invasive species.

“We’re hoping for a collaborative voice of all the islands,” says Patrick McGinnity of the Beaver Island Association, in a statement. “This is kind of a first time for people to get together to discuss.”

Summit organizers say they also hope to establish the Great Lakes Islands Coalition at the meeting.

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