Industrial pollution degraded Michigan’s Muskegon Lake, but a wetland restoration and shoreline stabilization project is breathing new life into the region.
Sixty five-plus wetland acres were connected to 45 acres of open-water habitat. Ninety six acres of wetlands were acquired for restoration, more than 200,000 tons of sawmill waste and demolition material were removed, and more than 13,000 feet of hardened shoreline was replaced with native vegetation.
NOAA initially invested $10 million in this effort. Researchers say this investment will power up the local economy by more than $57 million between 2009 and 2024, a nearly six-to-one return on investment.
Restoration by the Great Lakes Commission and other partners eventually will boost property values by $12 million, bring $600,000 extra in yearly tax revenues, enhance the Muskegon Lake Fishery, and attract 65,000 new visitors and an extra $1 million annually in recreational spending.