Lake Saint Clair represents one of the most significant recreational waterways in North America. The Lake St. Clair Tourism Initiative is a public/private, non-proﬁt association created to increase awareness, protect, and develop the rich and diverse assets on and around this fresh water community. The focus of the Initiative includes educating and connecting new and existing visitors about the many experiences offered by Lake St. Clair and the surrounding culture, businesses, and communities. The Initiative provides an umbrella of organizational, communications and advocacy support for existing merchants and business associations and the individual users of the lake. The LSCTI was created to develop and promote a long term vision and plan for the continued and sustainable development of Lake St. Clair and its assets. Visit TourLakeStClair.com for more information and keep a look out for Circle the Lake Tour Signage to begin appearing around Macomb County.
One of the goals of the Land and Water Resources division is to increase awareness of the natural assets the County possesses. By creating a Blue Way Water Trail along the Clinton River, Macomb County has created opportunities to publicize and increase access to the river. To boost tourism and use of the river, one of the objectives of the Blue Economy Initiative is to make the Clinton River more navigable by removing large woody debris. There are also plans to install kayak lockers, increase the number of kayak launch sites, and install way finding signage and interpretive kiosks. In addition, by promoting sound riparian land management practices, the establishment of a Blue Way Water Trail will present many opportunities to educate the public about their role in protecting water quality and wildlife habitat. Click here to view Blue Way Water Trail Map.
Macomb County is home to a county-wide trail way network. These non-motorized trails provide recreation and fitness opportunities for the county’s residents and visitors. The Macomb Orchard Trail and the Freedom Trail are the two main pathways that connect users to the beautiful parks and downtowns around the region. Click on the link to Trail Way Master Plan or visit Green Macomb for more information.
The Lake Saint Clair Coastal Paddling Trail Map is a graphic rendition of what paddlers might experience on Lake St. Clair. The map provides great “suggested day tips” that explore one of the nation’s greatest recreational waterways. The publication was produced with funding from a Michigan Sea Grant Coastal Community Development Grant. The map provides paddlers with launch site locations and safe landing areas. It also shows which areas have parking, dining, historical, cultural and natural features. The map informs paddlers on the weather and wake size they may experience, safety tips and information on crossing into Canadian waters. Visit the Michigan Sea Grant website or click on a PDF version of the map for more information. If you would like hard copy versions of the map contact the Planning and Economic Development department.
The wetlands at Lake St. Clair Metropark represent one of the last opportunities to restore coastal wetlands on a landscape scale in a highly urbanized region of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provided approximately $1.5 million to restore this gem along the coastal area of Lake St. Clair. This project entails the restoration of nearly 500 acres of coastal wetland, which are currently part of Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority’s (HCMA) Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township. Additional land is currently being sought for purchase by HCMA for inclusion into the project area. The existing wetland within the project area has been degraded not only by Phragmites australis invasion, but also by hydrological alteration, including filling and dredging.
The purpose of the restoration is to: appropriately restore the wetland to as close to pre-settlement condition as realistically possible, while achieving balanced diversity among open water, transition zones, and upland; appropriately restore the hydrology of the marshland, such that Great Lakes marsh and lake plain prairie can be re-established; educate and reach out to the public on the benefits of wetland, the importance of our coastal wetlands and the invasive species issue facing Lake St. Clair ecosystems; augment current Phragmites removal efforts undertaken by HCMA; and preserve and enhance existing habitat for native fauna, especially those that are rare, such as the Eastern Fox Snake.
The James B. and Anne V. Nicholson Nature Center and Conservation Easement is a 33 acre easement located along a 1 mile stretch of the North Branch of the Clinton River in Clinton Township. The property is owned by the county and was donated, along with $150,000, from the Nicholson family to plan the conservation, restoration, and development of an “Environmental Education Center”. The county received another grant of $205,000 from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund program to develop an outdoor classroom, nature trails, a universally accessible restroom facility and outdoor amphitheater with seating. Community groups and schools will be able to use the area for environmental education. Located within a floodplain, the nature center is an area rich in flora and is home to many animals not commonly seen in urban areas. The grant will also fund a wildlife and fish habitat restoration project along a 250-foot stretch of the stream bank and restore a 3-acre seasonal wooded wetland.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the Huron-Clinton Metroparks are planning on spraying part of Metro Beach Metropark, in Harrison Twp for control of Phragmites, an invasive wetland grass. The intent of the project is to protect coastal marshes (wetlands) within the St. Clair watershed through the control of common reed, or Phragmites. Treatment includes aerial and ground application of herbicide, followed by either prescribed burning or mowing. Please visit Macomb County’s Public Health website for more information or view Phragmites FAQ .