The Great Lakes have a bigger impact on Michigan’s economy than many people may realize.
The Michigan Sea Grant says more than a million and a half jobs are directly connected to the Great Lakes.
Those jobs generate more than $62 billion in wages every year.
"This is the second time we've done this analysis," says Jennifer Read of Michigan Sea Grant. "And it's always surprising -- to me, at least -- the extent of the jobs that are directly related to the Great Lakes, across multiple sectors. It's just a huge impact.
Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of more than 30 university-based programs, including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
Read says Michigan has the highest number of jobs that depend on the lakes – more than a half-million.
Most of the jobs are in manufacturing, shipping, fishing, recreation and tourism.