The St. Ignace Marina: A picturesque port-o’-call in the Upper Peninsula

Deck replacement project bolsters venue’s reputation as a jewel of the Straits of Mackinac

It’s a gathering spot that really floats the locals’ boats.

The St. Ignace Marina, built in 2003, is the beating heart of St. Ignace, Michigan, during the brief and glorious summers in the Straits of Mackinac.

Overlooking Mackinac Island and Moran Bay, the marina hosts some of the Upper Peninsula’s most beautiful watercraft at its 136-slip, state-of-the-art facility, and can accommodate yachts up to 150 feet long.

It’s a picturesque port in a storm—and much, much more.

“We have fireworks every Saturday night from the Fourth of July to Labor Day. We have live music, dockside arts and crafts, wine and beer tasting, and our annual Fish Feast with all the local restaurants cooking up a storm,” says Mike Singleton, director of the St. Ignace Marina.

“We’ve had people come out for wedding and grad pictures, and lots of get-togethers with touring boat clubs and boat races,” he adds. “And we have even bigger plans for the marina. We eventually want to have a stage built to host larger music events and festivals.”

As the 2017 season winds down, Singleton and his marina crew have been getting ready for 2018 with a full-scale deck replacement. That work has been ongoing through much of September, and was punctuated with a volunteer event on Sept. 21 involving U.S. Coast Guard officials, community volunteers, and Enbridge employees.

“The boards we’re replacing are actually in very good shape, and we’re donating all the salvageable wood to the City of St. Ignace so they can refurbish the North Country Trail, our boardwalk that runs along Lake Huron,” says Singleton.

“We’re also hoping this project can give us a head start on building a kayak and canoe launch within the marina, so that people can load into their kayak or canoe or paddleboard from a sheltered location.”

Enbridge is committed to being a good neighbor in the communities near our projects and operations, including our Line 5 light crude and natural gas liquids (NGLs) pipeline—a vital piece of Michigan energy infrastructure—that travels under the Straits of Mackinac.

The Line 5 Straits crossing has never experienced a leak, and we’re focused on keeping it that way with an overlapping array of safety precautions, including 24/7 monitoring, ongoing inspections, regular maintenance, hydrotesting, span management and remotely controlled isolation valves.

In 2016, we invested more than $300,000 in community-strengthening initiatives across the state of Michigan. And in addition to our volunteer support of the St. Ignace Marina’s deck replacement event on Sept. 21, Enbridge has contributed about $47,000 to the project.

“We’re working hard to make our marina more widely known through social media, word of mouth, waterway guides,” Singleton. “We set up a Facebook page last summer, and we’ve had 4,700 people tell us they’ve visited the marina—which is pretty great for a town of about 2,500 people.”