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Waterfront Campgrounds, More Beaches, Recreation on Lake St. Clair Envisioned

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel promotes Lake St. Clair while sharing possibilities for its 31-1/2 miles of coastline.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel dreams of making Lake St. Clair a popular recreation destination and tourist attraction.

Waterfront campgrounds and more beach fronts were among the ideas Hackel proposed during the Business by the Bay luncheon Thursday in downtown New Baltimore.

"How come we don't have a Navy Pier like we see in Chicago?" he asked the crowd of professionals and community leaders.

After all, Hackel says, the county boasts 31-1/2 miles of coastline that is even drawing the likes of a nationally televised Bass tournament. He criticized the media for focusing on negative aspects of the lake known for or .

"This lake is, without a question, a clean, healthy lake," he said. "Macomb County has a really vibrant main stream running through it and it's called the Clinton River."

Besides a coastal trail and signage along waterfront communities--New Baltimore, Chesterfield Township, Harrison Township and St. Clair Shores--the county is promoting the lake through the Make Macomb Your Home initiative.

And, there's no better time to capitalize on the waterways than now because the county has gained an average of 19 new residents daily since January, Hackel said. That comes on the heels of Macomb being the fast-growing county in Michigan, with an average of 14 new residents a day, he said of 2010 Census figures.

Hackel encourages businesses to get involved with improving and promoting the lake. He stressed additions, such as a casino or marina, along the water would have to come from the private sector and not from the county purchasing land.

New Baltimore Mayor Larry Smith said after the speech that he would like to see kayaking and canoeing launches in the city. He also pointed out that community officials are waiting for along Anchor Bay.

"Obviously, we're a waterfront community and we would like to expound on it as much as we could," Smith said.

Mary June 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Some many possibilities yet so many people who are unable to let go of the past to see what these waterfront communities could become.
kidcat24 June 22, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I love the idea of waterfront campgrounds with beaches!
kidcat24 June 22, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I love the marina, kayaking, and canoeing ideas too! Let's go, let's move on it!
Lilly June 22, 2012 at 02:07 PM
ABOUT TIME ! Wonderful idea !
Mark Rancilio June 22, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Mark, as a business owner in Clinton Township I would be willing to get involved with your campaign...Mark Rancilio....president of DMI
kidcat24 June 22, 2012 at 02:14 PM
President Barack Obama signed a bill in 2009 that pumped some $475 million in federal funds into cleaning up the Great Lakes.
kidcat24 June 22, 2012 at 02:14 PM
A study by the Brookings Institute in Washington found that every $1 spent cleaning waterways within the Great Lakes region created a return of $3 through the creation of jobs, tourism and development.
Kimberly Zatkoff June 22, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Mark Hackel is full of brilliant & amazing ideas for the Macomb County waterfront. Nice photo too :)
Brian Hadfield June 22, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Whether built along the lake or out into the lake, I would love something similar to Chicago's Navy Pier, with restaurants, locally-owned shops, a few permanent rides (like Navy Pier's ferris wheel), and sight-seeing excursions departing from such a pier. It's amazing how little currently exists along the lake currently, especially in terms of restaurants. (I suppose privately owned land--or residential homes--prevents a lot of business possibilities in some areas.)
Jeffery Berz June 24, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Great idea Brian. That would be fun!
Catherine Landa July 01, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Yes we need kayak launches! Its hard at dnr launches cuz there r so many motorized boats also can be dangerous. There are a few nice parks to launch from but there is a long walk from the parking areas. Please make some launches for paddlers!
LSCN.NET July 03, 2012 at 04:42 PM
We love the lake, and we love the vision. We would love to use our website, the Lake St. Clair Network to help out in any way we can. We already network business and lake enthusiasts (15,000+ of them) together daily.

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