A Lilypad for humans: solar powered boat features clean energy, sustainable design

Lilypad was one of four projects funded by EGLE and the OFME to address climate, energy, and mobility challenges in the Great Lakes region through innovative maritime solutions.

The West Michigan beach town of Saugatuck is known for its historic riverfront nestled among critical dune habitat at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River.  Saugatuck and its neighbor Douglas straddle the river and for more than a century people have found creative ways to navigate the waterway.

One of the most popular is a hand-cranked chain ferry. Believed to be the last of its kind in the country, the ferry “Diane” has operated on and off since 1857 and is arguably the most ecofriendly way to move a couple dozen beachgoers across the river to Saugatuck’s famed Oval Beach on the shores of Lake Michigan.

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Source: Michigan Gov

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