U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Gary Peters (MI) today announced that the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has been awarded $6,628,285 in federal funding to help purchase a new passenger ferry to provide transportation between Beaver Island and Charlevoix. The grant funding is through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Ferry Service Rural Communities Program, which was established by the 2022 bipartisan infrastructure law that Peters and Stabenow helped enact into law. Through this grant and state funding, MDOT should have the resources to move forward in purchasing a new ferry.
"Beaver Island is one of Michigan's most unique communities," said Senator Stabenow. "The ferry service is a lifeline for residents and essential to the island's economy."
"Ferry service is a lifeline for Beaver Island, and this investment will provide needed funding to help purchase a new passenger ferry," said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee. "I'm proud to have advocated for this federal grant for this new ferry, which will be important for Beaver Island's residents, tourism and economy."
"The Beaver Island Transportation Authority would like to thank Senators Peters and Stabenow for their support of our application for the Ferry Service for Rural Communities Program grant," said Mary Cook, Executive Director of the Beaver Island Transportation Authority. "The ferry system is essential for transporting residents, seasonal visitors, tourists, vehicles, and freight -- all of which are necessary for the community and economy. The existing ferries are showing their age and the Island is grateful for this opportunity."
Two ferries currently service the island, one of which is more than 60-years-old. This grant will go towards the construction of a more efficient, reliable, and environmentally-friendly ferry. The grant will also support dock renovations on shore.