A new effort to boost tourism and awareness of Lake St. Clair and the Clinton River was unveiled Friday by Macomb County officials and boating enthusiasts.
The new Lake St. Clair Circle Tour was introduced Friday by County Executive Mark Hackel and will include the installation of 50 signs throughout the county that will identify access points to lake and waterfront business locations including the Nautical Mile and downtown New Baltimore.
"Most people don't have an understanding of how to touch the lake and access the lake," said Hackel. "This initiative is to get people to understand the value of the lake and the hot spots (located on the shoreline)."
The circle tour was developed through a collaboration of the Lake St. Clair Tourism Initiative, the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development and the Macomb County Department of Roads. The signage is similar to those placed along the Great Lakes.
Later this month, signs will be placed along highways, surface roads and freeways in Macomb County. Officials hope to expand it to St. Clair and Wayne counties along with Canada.
"Our Nautical Mile Merchants Association has pursued this for years," said Donna Flaherty, president of the association and owner of Gifts Afloat. "It is very exciting because it gives us more exposure and promotion."
This is the latest effort by Hackel to promote the waterways and businesses through the "Blue Economy Initiative," which has included dedicating a position in the planning and economic development department to coordinate the efforts of the watershed council, the water quality board and local businesses.
A lakefront path along Selfridge Air National Guard Base, canoeing on the Clinton River and parasailing on Lake St. Clair are some of the projects that are being discussed.
The announcement came at the start of the Celebrate the Lake event on Saturday and Sunday at MacRay Harbor in Harrison Township. The event includes free activities like a kids fishing derby along with information about recreational boating and green products for the home or boat.
For more information about the Celebrate the Lake event, visit the Lake St. Clair Tourism website.