Restoration Dollars to Bring Six Times Return on Investment

A $10 million wetland restoration effort will power up the local economy by more than $57 million by boosting property values, enhancing fisheries, and increasing tourism and recreation.

Industrial pollution degraded Michigan’s Muskegon Lake, but a wetland restoration and shoreline stabilization project is breathing new life into the region. Ninety-six acres of wetlands were acquired for restoration, 200,000 tons of sawmill waste and demolition material were removed, and 13,000 feet of hardened shoreline was replaced with native vegetation. NOAA initially invested $10 million in this effort and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, through NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, continues the support through grants and technical support.

Researchers say this investment will power up the local economy by more than $57 million between 2009 and 2024, a nearly six-to-one return on investment. Restoration by the Great Lakes Commission and other partners eventually will boost property values by $12 million, bring $600,000 extra in yearly tax revenues, enhance the Muskegon Lake fishery, and attract 65,000 new visitors and an extra $1 million annually in recreational spending. The initial grant came from NOAA’s Restoration Center (original 2017; updated 2018)

More Information: Muskegon Lake

Partners: Great Lakes Commission, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, NOAA Office for Coastal Management and Office of Habitat Conservation

Fast Fact: Did you know that collectively, mitigation programs throughout the country save the American public about $3.4 billion every year? For more statistics related to this story, check out Hazard Mitigation Value and Wetland Benefits.