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Michigan Boating Week (June 10-16) highlights the freshwater state

Published Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites residents and visitors to celebrate the state's unparalleled boating opportunities and one of the best freshwater destinations in the world during Michigan Boating Week June 10-16.

"Water is one of Michigan's greatest natural resources," said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. "This weeklong campaign encourages residents and visitors to celebrate Michigan's vast freshwater resources and get out and explore all of the on-the-water opportunities the Great Lakes State affords.Michigan is truly a boater's paradise."

Michigan is home to an estimated 4 million boating enthusiasts and approximately 1 million registered boats and 300,000 nonregistered canoes and kayaks. In addition, recreational boating has an annual $7.4 billion impact and the boating industry provides nearly 59,000 jobs across the state.

“Michigan Boating Week is a great opportunity to highlight the importance of the boating industry to our state’s economy as well as its importance to the quality of life," said Nicki Polan, executive director of the Michigan Boating Industries Association. “Michigan's access to freshwater resources helps build lakeside communities and boating-related industries such as tourism, commercial fishing and boat manufacturing and sales.”

The weeklong celebration also includes a handful of events taking place in harbors across the state and live radio broadcasts that will feature DNR staff and other industry professionals.

Since residents and visitors are never more than 6 miles from a body of water or 85 miles from a Great Lake, there are plenty of reasons to take pride in Michigan's vast freshwater resources. The following freshwater facts help define why Michigan is the Great Lakes State:

• 3,288 miles of Great Lakes shoreline.
• 11,000-plus inland lakes.
• 36,350 miles of rivers and streams.
• 1,300 boat launches and 82 public harbors administered by state, county and local units of government. 
• More lighthouses than any other state.
• Access to 154 species of fish.


A portion of revenue collected from Michigan’s gas tax and watercraft registrations helps fund state facilities, including 19 harbors and approximately 1,000 boating access sites. Another portion of that revenue funds grants to local units of government that oversee 63 harbors and roughly 200 boating access sites. These resources help fund waterways projects and the ongoing maintenance at public recreational boating facilities, benefiting local and regional economies and contributing to statewide tourism.

Visit www.michigan.gov/boating to learn more about Michigan boating, Michigan Boating Week, water safety and much more. In addition, the Michigan Harbors Guide is available for download and is designed to offer essential boating information and a list of locations and amenities offered at state harbors.

For more information, contact Maia Turek, DNR resource development specialist, at turekm@michigan.gov or 989-225-8573 or Nicki Polan at 734-261-0123, ext. 4 or npolan@mbia.org.

Editor's note: A photo and three accompanying infographics are available below for download for use on social media and other communication platforms. Suggested captions follow.

2017MBWAIS.jpg: Boaters can help prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species with three simple steps: Clean, Drain and Dry. Learn about Michigan Boating Week, June 10-16, at www.michigan.gov/boating.

2017MBWAISFacts.jpg: Did you know that in Michigan you're never more than 6 miles from a body of water or 85 miles from a Great Lake? Learn about Michigan Boating Week, June 10-16, at www.michigan.gov/boating./

2017MBWRentals.jpg: Boat rentals are available at more than 40 state parks to help you explore Michigan's freshwater rivers and lakes. Learn about Michigan Boating Week, June 10-16, at www.michigan.gov/boating./

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