Jul 30, 2014
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Macomb County Outlines Plan for Blue Economy

Macomb County officials outlined a plan Friday that would focus on environmental stewardship, economic development and quality of life while looking to develop economic opportunities and environmental quality for Lake St. Clair and the Clinton River.

Macomb County officials unveiled a Blue Economy Strategic Development Plan Friday for Lake St. Clair and the Clinton River.

The plan, drafted by a committee that included local, county and regional representatives, included a wide range of proposals from increased access to the waterfront to increased ecosystem restoration.

"The plan is a means of providing a clear understanding of the many different aspects of the blue economy here in this county," said Hackel, citing the miles of streams, rivers and lakefront in the county as location for business development, recreation opportunities and environmental preservation.

"Macomb County is very well suited to build upon the extensive and the unique water assets that are familiar to the residents and visitors of our county," he added.

For nearly six months, the advisory council composed of elected and appointed officials, business leaders and members of water quality boards from the tri-county region composed the Blue Economy Strategic Development Plan.

The plan, discussed at a press conference at MacRay Harbor in Harrison Township, includes a variety of projects that are in various stages of planning.

These proposed projects include fishing tournaments on Lake St. Clair, a possible minor league ballpark in Utica, a botanical garden next to the Mall at Partridge Creek and expanded parkland along the waterfront in New Baltimore.

County officials said they would look at a variety options to fund these and nearly 45 other possible projects throughout the county including bonding and collaborate on grants.

Ken DeBeaussaert, chairman of the committee, said discussions will be on-going about the plan.

"Water does bring people together," said DeBeaussaert, the former director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes. "It unites people in away a lot issues don’t."

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