The tourism and outdoor recreation sector in Ecorse just received a $1.6 million addition.
The US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Agency invested the money in the form of a grant to the city to boost the local tourism economy.
As a result, local residents and others who enjoy spending time in John Dingell Park will enjoy a welcome expansion.
A jetty on the Detroit River is also part of the expansion plan.
The grant is an attempt to expand outdoor recreation opportunities and boost tourism in a region affected by declining coal use. The investment is matched with $410,400 in local funds.
US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said she expects the investment will attract tourism and businesses to the Ecorse riverfront.
Alejandra Castillo, Deputy Minister for Trade and Economic Development, echoed these sentiments.
“This EDA investment will support small businesses, build regional resilience and help bring economic prosperity to the region,” Castillo said.
Earlier this year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law the Building Michigan Together Plan, which officials said included the largest one-off investment in state and local parks ever.
The economic impact is estimated at $1.8 billion.
“I will work with everyone to support our tourism and leisure business,” Whitmer said. “Today, our economy is growing with low unemployment, strong job growth and transformational investments in every region.”
She said she wants to build on that momentum and move the state forward.
The announcement of the grant also caught the attention of US Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-13th District).
She called Ecorse a “unique community” because it provides access to one of the district’s and region’s greatest assets and attractions – the Detroit River and John D. Dingell Park.
She continued that being able to further expand access to the resources for residents will be critical in connecting communities.
“I know this funding will be a great benefit, not only to highlight our district’s natural resources, but also to help advance the much-needed economic development of the city of Ecorse,” Tlaib said.
The award is being highlighted as an example of what communities can do under EDA’s new American Rescue Plan programs.
The investment is designed to ensure coal communities have the resources they need to recover from the pandemic.
It will also help create new jobs and opportunities, including through the development or expansion of a new industrial sector.