4,600 Miles of Trails; $500M for Water Infrastructure and 1.3M Great Lakes Jobs

For Friday, Oct. 16, 2020

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1 – As part of Michigan Trails Week, a new interactive nonmotorized trail map has been launched by the state Department of Natural Resources. 

The map features 4,600 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing along with water trails for paddling. 

The map lets you search for a trail by name or location, and see satellite imagery, roads and topography. You also can print maps for the area you’re interested in, and the DNR is asking people to share their trail photos

To learn more, go to Michigan.gov/DNRTrails.

A portion of the trails map via the Michigan DNR

2 – Earlier this month, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a half-billion dollar plan to upgrade drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in the state. 

The $500 million MI Clean Water plan includes replacing lead service lines and removing chemical pollutants, according to the Associated Press

Whitmer speaking to the Michigan Municipal League in 2019. Credit: MML

The initiative calls for using federal funds and state-issued bonds to create a pot of money that local governments can use to improve their water treatment systems. 

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters called the plan “a step forward” for protecting public health and creating jobs. 

Whitmer says the investment would support more than 7,500 Michigan jobs. About $207 million would go toward drinking water quality, with another $273 million toward wastewater protection, including correcting combined sewer overflows and eliminating failed septic systems. 

3 – More than 1.3 million jobs and $82 billion in wages are directly tied to the Great Lakes. 

So says an analysis of 2018 economic data released this week by Michigan Sea Grant

Coastal counties in the eight Great Lakes states produce 21 percent of the region’s gross domestic product and 5.8 percent of the U.S. GDP. 

Those counties of course include Bay County and others from the Thumb all the way up to the Mackinac Bridge. 

Coastal counties highlighted in the Great Lakes jobs report

The report looks at jobs connected to the Great Lakes by state and industry. 

Manufacturing was responsible for 59% of Great Lakes-supported jobs; followed iby tourism and recreation; transportation and warehousing; agriculture, fishing and food production; science and engineering; utilities and mining.

Michigan had the second highest number of Great Lakes jobs by state, just below Illinois. 

Michigan Sea Grant, which produced the report, is a collaboration between the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and MSU Extension. 

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (streaming). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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