September 17-24, 2016: Estuaries Week

WHEREAS, Michigan’s Great Lakes and its 49,000 miles of rivers and streams are integral because of the services they offer in the form of water supply, natural filtration systems, recreational opportunities, fishing sources, and tourist attractions; and,

WHEREAS, estuaries are unique coastal environments that support more life per square inch than any other ecosystem on earth, providing habitat for countless species of fish, shellfish, birds, and marine mammals. Almost half of the Michigan’s population and half of the state’s GDP is located in an estuarine region; and,

WHEREAS, preserving our local fish habitats and populations also preserves our coastal tourism and recreation industries which generate about $1.5 billion and 49,000 jobs annually; and,

WHEREAS, maintaining healthy coastal environments and pristine shores attracts millions of tourists every year, supporting a oceanic tourism and recreation industry which generates about $1.3 billion annually; and,

WHEREAS, restoration projects create more than twice as many jobs as the oil and gas and road construction industries combined; and,

WHEREAS, protecting and restoring our estuaries is vital to our local and national economy because they sustain the fisheries that feed America, ensure outdoor recreational opportunities for current and future generations, reduce the costly impacts of natural hazards, and support local jobs which cannot be exported;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 17-24, 2016 as Estuaries Week in Michigan.