We like to think that blue water is as good as gold. Recently more and more talk about a the Blue Economy has many people interested in Muskegon, Michigan. In an article titled Muskegon's Blue Economy Future, John Austin, director of the Brookings Institution, Great Lakes Economic Initiative told the Muskegon Chamber audience "the Blue Economy is a $1.2 billion growing global industry that is an
exciting opportunity for Muskegon. Muskegon is an unique piece of real estate and possesses a core competency in
manufacturing that makes profiting from the Blue Economy very possible.
What is the Blue Economy? Simple put it’s
economic activity involving water, including water treatment, water
conservation or water use for
manufacturing and transportation, recreation or tourism.
Muskegon greatest asset
is the Lake. Using the Lake as a resource to grow a sustainable
economy, while preserving the natural resource for years to come is a
must. “The City of Muskegon has always been linked to the fresh waters
that inspired its growth and have maintained its quality of life”, the
city’s web site states.
lake has sustained many great economies of the past, or has it? Have
these economies plundered us of “Blue Water” and the pride that should
be ours, in our lake, beaches, and dunes? Let’s explore more.
you realize that Muskegon was known as mIllionaire city? “During the
lumbering era, Muskegon boasted more millionaires than any other town in
America.” Great people used the water to make lots of money. Take for
example, the Muskegon lumber businesses rebuilt Chicago after the great
fire of 1871. 47 lumber mills surrounded the lake, as the buzz
provided many jobs and growth.
the industrial revolution, manufactures used the lake and resources to
produce many diverse products. Muskegon was on its way to becoming a
diversified industrial center, having attracted such firms as
Shaw-Walker, Brunswick, Campbell, Wyant, and Cannon, Continental Motors,
and the Central Paper Mill to this area. The great depression stopped
the come back, but World War II brought back production to include
products for World War II. Muskegon was know as the “Arsenal of
These periods of
prosperity and abuse have left us some challenges. Muskegon Lake is on
the Great Lakes hotspot list, but with major restoration projects we see
hope among sights like manufacturing properties now being vacant.
Realizing that economies change, businesses leave, money disappears and
now we are left to clean, redevelop and look for the next best thing.
Blue Water vision begins to grow, so does new excitement in Muskegon.
Recently three big announcements have spread the news that Muskegon is
ready for “Blue Water”. On February 10, 2012 Grand Valley State
University announced a $3.4 million investment on Muskegon’s downtown
waterfront with an Annis Water Resources Institute facility upgrade.
this year Rockford Construction, Bergé Group and L3 formed the Michigan
Energy Consortium with the goal of creating the Michigan Energy and
Technology Center in Muskegon. The consortium is considering several
sites on Muskegon Lake — including the former Sappi paper mill, the
Verplank Trucking Co. property and the Mart Dock, which are large enough
to build an industrial center for several wind energy manufacturers.
February 12, 2012 . the Sand Products company introduced a “property
swap” that would put the recreational fishing and camping facilities on
Muskegon Lake in an area known as the “sand docks” near the former
Pigeon Hill. Fisherman’s Landing would then be available for future
port Blue Water Economy development, while creating a new recreational
facility with boat launches on Muskegon Lake and approximately 70
Muskegon is in the
process of once again establishing greatness with the hope of the “Blue
Comments and Post from Roger Zuidema Lake Effect Promoted on Mlive and others news article:
10/30/2013 As we continue to promote Muskegon and Michigan as a great place to play, wouldn't it be awesome to establish great private/public groups that work and in hand to bring positive outcomes to the state. I think this is one of those groups. Congrats to Robert Lukens and the team behind the scene, that took a risk to bring Bassmasters to Muskegon. Your hard work looks to have planted the seed that could grow. Question. Shouldn't we continue to invest in the infrastructure that lead people when visiting to say, "Wow, not only a great recreational venue but facilities to match"? Let's Grow the Lake Effect!