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Millions in Restoration Projects


Over $1 Billion +/- Since 2009 – All designed to attract more people to clean water

BRING MORE PEOPLE TO WATER — Each year $ millions on top of $ millions are spent to bring more people to water with $ billions in return. This Lake Erie article is just one example in the Great Lakes region.

09/20/2016 – Tourism sales generated nearly $2 billion for Lake Erie Shores & Islands region

Below is a sampling of money spent in the Great Lakes Region.

GREAT LAKES USA – Great Lakes Restoration – $8 million / $50 million since 2010 – Water Safety needs this level of funding! Since 2010, EPA has funded more than 80 GLRI projects totaling over $50 million to combat invasive species. [NOTE: this is just a sampling of projects pertaining to Lake Michigan and IL, IN, and southwest MI.] 

11/22/2017 – $300M for Great Lakes cleanup moves forward in Congress — The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative focuses on the region’s most longstanding environmental problems, such as toxic pollution, farm and urban runoff, invasive species and declining wildlife habitat.

09/02/2016+$20 BILLION – Tourism season hot for Michigan — Michigan’s tourism industry has enjoyed a strong summer season with campers, boaters and vacationers making the most of what the mitten state has to offer.  Those in the tourism industry believe the summer months will help the state equal or pass the $20 billion spent by visitors in Michigan last year.

The Blue Economy – 1 in 5 jobs is related to water

$29 Million is budgeted for the 2015 Pure Michigan campaign – Among the area’s greatest assets to the campaign are its lakes, its proximity to Lake Michigan and its wealth of historic lighthouses.

$31.4 Million was budgeted for the 2014 Pure Michigan Campaign –

2006 to 2014 facts and figures

  • Pure Michigan has generated 22.4 million out-of-state trips to Michigan
  • Visitors spent $6.6 billion at Michigan businesses
  • Visitors paid $459 million in Michigan taxes, primarily sales tax

$360,472 (December 14, 2014) for a new gazebo, south stairs on the bluff to the beach with a zig-zag handicapped-accessible ramp, additional parking, a new restroom facility, replacing deteriorating walkways and replacing concrete at the pavilions.

$2.5 million – The program, coordinated by the Environmental Protection Agency, targets environmental challenges to waters within the Great Lakes Basin. Fifteen GLRI grants totaling more than $8 million went to regional projects in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and New York.

$300 million in research since 2009 – Michigan’s Blue Economy – Water is so instrumental to our economic future that the three URC universities received nearly $300 million for water-related research and outreach between 2009 and 2013 from governments, private companies, foundations and other sources. That’s nearly as much as the amount received by the universities ($303 million) for advanced automotive research from 2006-11. (URC = University Research Corridor – an alliance of Michigan’s three leading research institutions, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University)

Chicago, IL $9.7 million – The new $9.7 million Northerly Island park located on Chicago’s lakefront features man-made hills, a 5-acre lagoon and a winding bike and pedestrian trail.

Chicago, IL – $42.5 million for two pedestrian bridges over Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, IL – $278 million to renovate Navy Pier

Chicago, IL – $100 million to Finance Riverwalk Project. Sidebar: 62 Kayakers rescued from Chicago River

Chicago, IL – $3 million Northerly Island expansion project to accommodate 22,000 people

Highland Park, IL – $10 million (July 23, 2013) Rosewood Beach renovation – two simultaneous projects at Highland Park’s only public swimming beach which includes a boardwalk system, a lifeguard house, concession stand, restroom and “interpretive shelter” multi-purpose building.

Waukegan, IL – $1.3 million granted for shoreline project at Illinois Beach State Park “Our investment will help reduce sand erosion and allow hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to continue enjoying this pristine stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline,” Quinn said.

Lake Forest, IL – $3 million (April 24, 2013) Forest Park in Lake Forest, the first public park on the North Shore north of Evanston, will undergo various infrastructure and various infrastructure and landscape improvements in the fall as part of a master plan.

Portage, IN –
 $3.2 million – to restore 80 acres on the city of Portage’s lakefront – “This award is a significant milestone in our continued efforts to recapture our Lake Michigan shoreline for public use and to enhance economic opportunities throughout our region,” Visclosky said.

Gary, IN – $28 million for the Marquette Park Lakefront East Project.

Whiting, IN – $42 million to transform the Whiting Lakefront Park into a destination point for all to enjoy

Portage, IN – $16 million for the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Restoration

The pavilion at the Portage Lakefront Park and Riverwalk at the National Lakeshore was built with $9.2 million in funding from the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority. It opened in 2009.

Portage, IN – $1.5 million – The city’s Redevelopment Commission also approved seeking bids for phase one of the development of city-owned property just south of the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.  The project includes extending the entrance road from the park site south; providing additional parking; extending the trail from the pavilion to the South Shore train station and organizing the intersection on the west side of the Burns Waterway.  

09/20/2016 – Tourism sales generated nearly $2 billion for Lake Erie Shores & Islands region

Ask any local hotelier, restaurant operator, gas station attendant or attraction owner and they will tell you the importance of the tourism industry in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region.

According to a recent study conducted by Tourism Economics, one of the world’s leading providers of economic analysis, visitors helped generate nearly $2 billion in tourism sales in 2015, an increase of 7 percent from the 2013 study. In addition, nearly one-third of the total tourism sales in Northwest Ohio ($6 billion in 22 counties) are generated in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region’s two counties, Erie and Ottawa.

These numbers help estimate that more than 10 million visitors traveled to the Shores & Islands region in 2015.

Huron, OH – December 6, 2014 – Ohio EPA: Lake Erie site ready for development –Officials in the lakeside city of Huron are now banking on selling the 10-acre site to a private developer possibly for a commercial district, a business park, residential properties or a combination of all three.

$2.5 Million – Great Lakes Restoration Initiative announces $2,558,853 to reduce nutrient runoff and soil erosion in Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron.

$151 Million in spending – Lake Erie Love pays off – Advertising campaign brought in $151 million in visitor spending and $4 million in local taxes.

$6 Million – Ohio projects will get more than $6 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative money for projects to prevent runoff from entering Lake Erie and restore wetlands and streams.