September 20 - 27, 2014: Estuaries Week

WHEREAS, Michigan’s Great Lakes and its 49,000 miles of rivers and streams are integral to the State of Michigan for 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; and,

WHEREAS, almost half of the Michigan’s population and State GDP is located in an estuarine region; and,

WHEREAS, preserving our local fish habitats and populations also preserves our recreational and commercial fishing industries which generate about $2 billion annually;

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

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 20 -27, 2014 as Estuaries Week in Michigan.