Caesar Creek Marina

Caesar Creek Marina
Caesar Creek Marina
Caesar Creek Marina
Caesar Creek Marina

Through a dynamic approach to shoreline development, our interdisciplinary design created a marina that enables visitors to connect with the water just as they do with the land surrounding it.


Ohio Department of Natural Resources


Warren County, Ohio


Civil Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Marinas & Harbors, Urban Planning, Waterfront


300-slip Marina and 2,000 linear feet shoreline

With over 3,741 acres at its disposal, Caesar Creek State Park has been connecting humans with nature for over 40 years through its recreational opportunities that include boating, hiking, camping and fishing.

Though much of the park has functioned well without modifications with the exception of trails and accommodating infrastructure, the shoreline and its potential remained untapped. The reason? Changing water levels.

Nevertheless, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) determined that if our team could find a creative way around the erratic water levels, this would be the place for a marina. By rethinking the way waterfront architecture functions, we were able to overcome this challenge, and designed a 400-boat marina.

Caesar Creek Marina SmithGroup

A public park is now able to extend its recreation to include the confluence of land and water in a dynamically-designed marina.

The original master plan was designed to have a breakwater being installed – to be effective the breakwater (stone rubble mound) would need to function at all water levels – and therefore obscuring the marina from views of the open water during normal water.  We installed the floating breakwater to function and protect the marina at normal, low and high water levels while allowing unobstructed views of the lake and shoreline.

This represents the fulfillment of a long sought goal. We have been working for years to provide our citizens and visitors with the kinds of amenities and services that are a part of this project.

Richard Verga
Mayor, Village of Harveysburg

The buildings that serve the marina are floating, as are the fuel and sanitary pump-out stations, dockside utilities, and access gangways. The idea is that if all waterfront infrastructure floats, it will rise and fall in congruence with the water. Additionally, a floating wave attenuator helps to limit wave transmissions.

 early 2,000 linear feet of shoreline were also improved with strategically placed stacked stone edging to enable visitors easy access to the water’s edge. Last but not least, a Stormwater Management Strategy was incorporated so stormwater will be filtered and cleaned before entering the lake.