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NWWWS 2018 Logo

5th National Working Waterfronts and Waterways Symposium

May 14 - 17, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI

Michigan Sea Grant, in collaboration with the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network and additional waterfront-focused partners, is jointly hosting the 2018 National Working Waterfronts and Waterways Symposium.

This four-day conference, to be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will be national in scope, while featuring presentations that emphasize the Great Lakes. More info.


The National Working Waterfront Network increases the capacity of coastal communities and stakeholders to make informed decisions, balance diverse uses, ensure access, and plan for the future of working waterfronts and waterways.

What are working waterfronts?

Working waterfronts are waterfront lands, waterfront infrastructure, and waterways that are used for a water-dependent activity, such as ports, small recreational boat harbors, fishing docks, and hundreds of other places across the country where people use and access the water.

Who are we?

Municipalities, State and Federal agencies, Nonprofits, Universities, Sea Grant programs, Businesses, Industry Associations, and Individuals dedicated to supporting and enhancing our nation’s working waterfronts and waterways.

What do we do?

  • Cooperate to research and celebrate our nation’s working waterfronts and waterways;
  • Provide our partners with access to the historical, economic, financial, and policy information and re­sources they need to address issues on working wa­terfronts and waterways at the local, state, regional, and national level; and
  • Maintain and strengthen a diverse network of part­ners who collaborate internally and act as liaisons to their stakeholders and communities.

What can you do?

This website contains lots of information, data, and tools that individuals, communities, and governments at all levels can use to develop, inform, and enhance their sustainable working waterfront initiatives. The compilation of this information was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration. To learn more, follow the links below to access the various sections of the Sustainable Working Waterfronts Toolkit:




News and Announcements

Accepting Session Proposals for 5th National Working Waterfronts and Waterways Symposium
Submission Deadline: January 19, 2018

You are invited to submit an abstract or session proposal to be considered for a symposium presentation. NWWWS provides a forum for stakeholders from across the U.S. to connect and showcase innovative, successful, and timely solutions to waterfront and waterway issues. More info.

Bill Heard on Preserving Working Waterfronts
The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans held a hearing on November 2, 2017 on Congresswoman Chellie Pingree’s (D-ME) bipartisan bill, HR 1176. “The men and women who work on the waterfront want to stay there. These are their communities and their work. Unfortunately, waterfront access is quickly disappearing under pressure from incompatible development. It truly puts our communities and their economies at risk,” Congresswoman Pingree testified. Hear her testimony here..

State of the US Ocean and Coastal Economics 2016 Update
National Ocean Economics Program, Center for the Blue Economy at Middlebury Inst. of International Studies at Monterey
Relative to the landmass of coastal regions, America's coasts and oceans contribute a disproportionately high value to the United States economy. Full report.

NWWN Case Studies
Click on the map below to find a case study by location.