Proposal would allow you to boat from Lake Michigan to GR

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- A new project is being proposed that could soon allow people to boat from Lake Michigan to downtown Grand Rapids.

According to a new study: The Grand River Waterway Project would bring millions of dollars to both Kent and Ottawa counties.

The 23-mile stretch would allow for recreational boating from the Fulton Street Bridge downtown GR to Lake Michigan through the Grand Haven Harbor.

The study found that the waterway could bring tourists to the area, which could generate as much as $57 million dollars over the next 10 years.

Researchers say the benefits also go beyond just the money. The project would bring new and expanded recreational activities on the grand river which may help reduce crime and promote a healthy lifestyle.

For homeowners who already live here, the waterway could bring an additional $54 million increase in property values.

"The Grand River is an incredible asset to our region, and with a very modest investment the river can be a vital component to the continued growth in the region," said Rick Baker, president, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. "The economic impact study only begins to scratch the surface of the potential residential and commercial benefits all along the river, from downtown Grand Rapids to Lake Michigan."

The Grand River Waterway project is still in its early stages and is a new initiative that could end up being funded by both private and public sources.

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