Economic Development

Economic effects of Area of Concern remediation

Michael Moore, University of Michigan

Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs) are locations within the Great Lakes Basin where a water body has experienced severe environmental degradation and has been designated for clean-up by the U.S. EPA. Initially designated in 1987, many AOCs have undergone extensive remediation efforts. Little is known about the potential relationships between remediation activities and neighborhood factors such as housing prices, population density, residents’ income, and educational characteristics. The project team will investigate how restoration activities at AOCs have affected the composition and economic well-being of surrounding neighborhoods.

Project overview (PDF)

Sustainable small harbor management strategies

Don Carpenter, Lawrence Technological University

Michigan is home to more than 80 public harbors and marinas run by the state, county, or local government. Each year, Great Lakes boating infuses the Michigan economy with nearly $2.4 billion through direct and secondary spending. The trend of fluctuating water levels across the Great Lakes, particularly persistent low water levels in the past 10 years, combined with economic downturn have taken their toll on local waterfront communities. In addition, state and federal funding for public harbors is increasingly limited.

The research team seeks to develop a sustainable small harbor management strategy for Michigan’s coastal communities. The team is hosting charrettes (facilitated community planning sessions) in New Baltimore, Au Gres, Ontonagon, and Pentwater. Information on public meetings is available on the project website.

Project: R/CCD-33
Project overview (PDF)

Project website

Charting the course for the Bluewater Coast
Coastal brownfield redevelopment in Michigan

William Welsh and Robert Jones, Eastern Michigan University

The research team worked closely with state agency professionals to evaluate the challenges and benefits of remediating and redeveloping coastal properties considered brownfields, such as abandoned factories. Researchers reviewed 55 brownfield remediation sites, explored the process of redevelopment, and identified specific benefits resulting for the surrounding neighborhoods. Their findings are being used by the state and brownfield professionals to raise awareness about how redevelopment can be used creatively to enhance coastal access, public green space, and community character, as well as improve the local economy and environment.

Project: R/CCD-1
Project overview (PDF)

Final report (PDF)

Northeast Michigan Integrated Assessment (NEMIA)

Jennifer Read and Brandon Schroeder, Michigan Sea Grant

This assessment was designed to foster a regional planning process related to economic development and coastal resources in northeast Michigan. Researchers led five technical assessments, and 50 partner organizations, state agencies, and county governments came together during a series of workshops. The assessment has resulted in unprecedented regional collaboration and partnerships, and it has generated $195,000 in funding for new projects. Notable project outcomes include place-based education opportunities for young people, development of a regionally coordinated management plan for coastal state parks, and selection of northeast Michigan as a pilot community for regional economic development.

Project: M/PM-29

Ecological and economic consequences of hydropower-related watershed restoration on Salmonid productivity in Great Lakes tributaries

Frank Lupi, John Hoehn, and Nathaniel Moore, Michigan State University
Ed Rutherford, University of Michigan

Project: R/GLF-48