Community leaders took to the lake on Wednesday, July 26, for the Macomb County Chamber’s ninth annual Lake St. Clair Appreciation Day.

This invitation-only event was designed to educate and engage lawmakers, area business leaders and other interested parties on Lake St. Clair’s vitality and impact as a tourism destination, lifestyle epicenter and economic engine for Macomb County.

The program began at Mac Ray Harbor in Harrison Township.  Participants received a presentation by Dan Heaton, former public relations director from Selfridge, on the history of neighboring Selfridge Air National Guard Base which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Boats then departed for a cruise of Lake St. Clair to Harsen’s Island with a stop for lunch there at the Old Club and a presentation about the island’s history.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel called the Lake St. Clair the “Heart of the Great Lakes” and remarked, “There is more boating, fishing and recreational activities here than anywhere else.”

With more than 16,000 boat wells across more than 70 marinas, the area is undeniably one of the greatest concentrations of personal watercraft in the nation.

Lake St. Clair defines much of the eastern boundary of Macomb County. It is ‘big water’ for southeast Michigan with more than 400 square miles of recreational opportunity and one of the country’s largest freshwater wetlands.

“We are pleased to host this annual event of key decision-makers to keep them up-to-date on the important role that Lake St. Clair plays in our area’s blue economy,” said Grace Shore, CEO of the Macomb County Chamber.  “We believe that once you experience Lake St. Clair you will want to protect and promote Lake St. Clair.”

Event partners are the Macomb County Chamber, Mac Ray Harbor and the Macomb County Executive’s Office. Sponsors of this year’s event were Kirk, Huth, Badalamenti, and Lange; McLaren Macomb; First State Bank; and United Shore Baseball League.