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State launches sustainable boat grant program

Maxi am Brunnen

The Fresh Coast Maritime Challenge Program began earlier this year to move from diesel to electric powered boats on the great lakes.

The program has invested $500,000 between six companies to create a network of charging facilities and electric boats.

Lilypad Labs is a Michigan based company who received $135,000 from the program.

“Just to provide an alternative more targeted towards people that are concerned either about environmental footprints, people who want to reduce their carbon footprint, people who just want to get easy access to the water when they want the water experience,” CEO and co-founder Dana Lowell said.

Lowell added that the lab is designed a boat that is like a “café table on water” that is rented out to people.

Currently the boats are on Lake Leelanau, but Lowell is confident that the company will have boats all around the great lakes next year.

“The technology is there to do carbon free boating, and that’s what the mission of the company is to provide easily accessible carbon free boating to the masses,” Lowell said.