Great Lakes cleanup program boosts region’s economy

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Investments to restore the Great Lakes have boosted tourism adn the economy of areas such as Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Munising.

A federal Great Lakes cleanup program is good for the region’s economy, a newly released analysis says.

The study says every dollar spent on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative during its first seven years will generate an additional $3.35 of economic activity through the year 2036.

It was based on research at the University of Michigan, Central Michigan University and case studies from cities in the eight-state region.

The initiative was established under President Barack Obama in 2010. It has provided more than $2.5 billion for thousands of projects that clean up toxic pollution, fight invasive species, prevent runoff and restore wildlife habitat.

According to the report, the program has created or supported thousands of jobs. It has particularly strengthened tourism and boosted housing values in Great Lakes coastal communities.

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