Contact: Gerard Santoro
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 05, 2019
Accomplishments of Macomb County’s Blue Economy initiative celebrated
Success in environmental, economic and quality of life projects touted
County Executive Mark A. Hackel was today joined by community leaders for the annual State of the Lake address held in front of Lake St. Clair at MacRay Harbor in Harrison Township. Speakers included Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller, executive director of the Michigan Boating Industries Association Nicki Polan and coordinator for the Lake St. Clair Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area McKenzi Bergmoser.
“Lake St. Clair is the heart of the Great Lakes and is at the very heart of what makes Macomb County such a great place to live, work and raise a family. The Macomb County Public Works Office is working on numerous projects, large and small, to improve and protect water quality in Lake St. Clair. The centerpiece is our major expansion and upgrade of the Chapaton Pump Station in St. Clair Shores, which will result in a major reduction in the number and volume of combined sewer overflows that enter our lake,” said Commissioner Candice S. Miller.
Macomb County’s Blue Economy Initiative was created to enhance and protect Lake St. Clair and its tributaries through economic development, environmental stewardship and quality of life enhancements to benefit residents and visitors. Activities are coordinated by Macomb County Planning & Economic Development (MCPED) in collaboration with many public and private partners. Accomplishments over the past year include:
- As part of the overall goal to increase tourism related to the lake, Macomb County has successfully brought world-class fishing events to the area. For 2019, Bassmaster will host the coveted Angler of the Year competition at Lake St. Clair Metropark from September 26-28. The Bass, Brews & BBQ Festival, hosted by the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber and the park, will be held at the same time.
- The Michigan Port Collaborative, an industry partner of the Michigan Boating Industries Association recently released a report highlighting the $19.7 billion economic impact produced by Michigan’s ports and harbors, $15.4 billion of which was produced by water-based tourismand recreation. The study also found that port/harbor water-based tourism economic activity supports an approximate 124,892 full-time equivalent jobs around the state.
- Now in its third year, the Green Macomb Urban Forest Program was created to benefit the watershed by increasing overall tree canopy, especially in areas south of the Clinton River. Through a partnership with the Blue Water Soil Conservation District, the 2019 Green Macomb Tree & Plant Sale resulted in more than 20,000 trees and shrubs being purchased by landowners from targeted areas.
- The Sterling Relief Greenway project, which is a partnership with the Macomb County Public Works office, is now underway. It will ultimately see about 2.5 miles of the 5.5 mile greenway transformed with improvements to storm water discharges and thousands of trees, shrubs and wildflowers planted.
- Through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), NOAA is committed to restoring an additional 10 linear miles of shoreline between Saginaw Bay and Port Clinton, Ohio. Macomb County is partnering with EGLE and the Great Lakes Commission to make Lake St. Clair a key programming area with this multi-year project. Both Brandenburg Park and Fords Cove are being considered for first-round funding as work is done to naturalize locations along Macomb's 31.5 miles of shoreline for fish habitat and storm resiliency.
- The Anchor Bay Woods along Countyline Road in New Baltimore was identified as one of the last remaining large areas with a Flat Mesic Woodland in the state of Michigan. MCPED partnered with Six Rivers Land Conservancy to seek acquisition and conservation of this asset. With the assistance of the CARLS Foundation, several large parcels were sold to the Conservancy for conservation in perpetuity.
Quality of Life
- MCPED updated the Macomb County Parks and Natural Resources Master Plan with a goal to create more parks in accessible locations. It also highlights ecological conservation and restoration throughout the region.
- The Clinton River Watershed Council is updating the coastal paddle trail with new boat launch locations at Webber Paddle Park and Brandenburg Park in Chesterfield Township.
- A new, universally accessible paddle launch pad will be dedicated later this month in downtown Mount Clemens along the Clinton River.
For more information on these projects, visit www.macombgov.org.
1 South Main Street, 8th Floor, Mount Clemens, MI, 48043
General Media Inquires - please contact John Cwikla at 586-463-3523