The Thumb is a region and a peninsula of the U. S. state of Michigan, so named. The Thumb area is considered to be in the Central Michigan region, located east of the Tri-Cities, north of Metro Detroit; the region is branded as the Blue Water Area of Michigan. The counties which constitute the Thumb are those forming the extended peninsula that stretches northward into Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay. There is no formal declaration for. While all definitions of The Thumb include Huron and Sanilac counties, most common definitions are extended to include Lapeer and St. Clair counties as well; the Thumb region is flat with fertile soil, the reason for its historical role as a chiefly agricultural area. Major agricultural products include sugar beets, navy beans, corn and fish from the Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. Manufacturing – concerning the Automotive Industry – is prevalent in Michigan's Thumb. Many different types of industries can be found in the thumb located in the southern portion of the region near the larger metropolitan areas of Detroit and Flint.
The Thumb has many notable businesses. Intertape Polymer Group, Inc. has a major factory in Marysville. Cargill Salt operates a large salt factory in St. Clair; this is the only plant in the U. S. A. that produces Alberger salt, prized in the fast food industry because of its higher volume and lower sodium content. This is part of Michigan's large salt-mining industry. Cooperative Elevator Company has been named the top Michigan Agriculture Exporter by the Michigan Department of Agriculture, its headquarters are in Pigeon, it has branch elevators in Deckerville, Gagetown, Sebewaing and Bad Axe. Detroit Edison is the operator of four power plants in the Thumb area: St. Clair and Belle River Power Plants in East China Township, Harbor Beach Powerplant, Greenwood Energy Center in Greenwood Township. Dow AgroSciences Harbor Beach manufactures agricultural chemicals: weed killer, fungicides and plant nutrients and herbicides. Mueller Industries operates Mueller Brass in Port Huron. Grand Trunk Western Railway has a major rail yard in Port Huron Township.
Marysville Hydrocarbons is an ethanol plant in Marysville. Michigan Ethanol, a partner of Broin Companies, operates a corn ethanol production facility in southwest Caro. Michigan Sugar Company, an agricultural cooperative owned by 1200 farmers, operates four plants in the area, it is "Pioneer" Sugar companies. Local plants are located in Caro, Sebewaing and headquarters in Bay City. Domtar operates a paper mill in Port Huron. Keihin Michigan Manufacturing operates an auto part manufacturing plant in Capac, they build HVAC and intake manifold assemblies that are used in Honda vehicles. Sensient Technologies Corporation, Harbor Beach, makes food flavors and colors, yeast dehydrated products and vegetable protein extract. Star of the West Milling Co. which has grain elevators in Vassar and Cass City, joined with Eastern Michigan Grain in Emmett. Huron Castings produces shell molded steel castings in Michigan. Pigeon Telephone Co. has been meeting telecommunications needs of the rural communities it serves since 1908.
Agri-Valley Services, more known as AVCI, is an internet service provider based out of Pigeon, Michigan. Thumb Cellular has been providing rural cellular service to the thumb area since 1991; the I-69 International Trade Corridor is a strategic commercial gateway between the Midwestern United States and Ontario, with multi-modal transportation infrastructure that offers a wide range of distribution options. The I-69 International Trade Corridor Next Michigan Development Corporation offers economic incentives to growing businesses, both existing and new, that utilize two or more forms of transportation to move their products and are located within the territory of the NMDC; the I-69 International Trade Corridor Next Michigan Development Corporation is the largest in the state of Michigan with 35 municipal partners. Constituent counties of the trade corridor are: Shiawassee, Lapeer, St. Clair Counties; some towns, such as Bay Port, Harbor Beach, Lexington, Port Austin, Port Hope, Port Huron, Port Sanilac, St. Clair enjoy seasonal tourism, due to their locations on Lake Huron, Saginaw Bay, or St. Clair River.
Tourism and farming drive the local economy. The Tip of The Thumb Heritage Water Trail is a nonprofit citizens organization working with the Huron County Parks to establish and maintain a water trail along Michigan's Lake Huron's shoreline. Few of the residents commute for work to Metropolitan Detroit or Flint or the Tri-Cities. Large cities in the Thumb area are Vassar, Port Huron, Marysville, St. Clair, Bad Axe, Caro; the majority of these cities are in the southern portion of the Thumb. Unique features in the area include the following: Algonac, known as the Venice of Michigan because of its many canals, is a part of the largest freshwater delta in the world, that of the St. Clair River into Lake St. Clair. Bad Axe was named after a broken axe found lodged in the knot of a tree at the clearing of the settlement's chief crossroads. Bay Port, is the world's largest freshwater fishing port. Harbor Beach is the home of the Harbor Beach Light. Harvest Wind Farm, an electrical generation project of Exelon Wind and Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative.
Harvest II is scheduled for completion in December 2012. Huron County Nature Center includes a 120-acre
Chippewa River (Michigan)
The Chippewa River is a stream in the U. S. state of Michigan that runs 91.8 miles through the central Lower Peninsula. The Chippewa is a tributary of the Tittabawassee River and is thus part of the Saginaw River drainage basin; the river is named after the Chippewa people. The main stem of the river begins in northeast Mecosta County in the village of Barryton at 43°44′49″N 85°08′26″W where the north and west branches are impounded; the North Branch Chippewa River known as Chippewa Creek, rises at 43°52′55″N 85°02′37″W as the outflow of Big Cranberry Lake in Garfield Township in southwest Clare County. The West Branch Chippewa River rises as the outflow of Tubbs Lake, part of a complex of lakes formed by Winchester Dam several miles southwest of Barryton; the Winchester Dam, built in 1954, forms the Martiny Lake Flooding. The dam, owned by the State of Michigan, is identified as a "significant hazard due to its proximity to the Village of Barryton." An 1879 atlas of Mecosta County gives an indication of the area's geography before the dam was built.
Several of the lakes that now form lobes in a continuous body of water are seen as separate lakes, some with different names or spellings. Tubbs Lake is called "Tebbs Lake" and Diamond Lake is "Dimon Lake"; the "second" North Branch Chippewa River rises as the outflow of Grass Lake near the boundary between Isabella and Clare counties at 43°48′37″N 84°55′33″W and flows south through into the Chippewa River at 43°35′11″N 84°49′50″W a few miles west of Mount Pleasant. The river flows through Mt. Pleasant and is the focal point of five parks in the city: Riverside Park, Millpond Park, Nelson Park, Chipp-A-Water, Island Park. In Island Park, the river flows around the park and creates a natural island in the center of the city. Three additional Isabella County parks utilize the river for recreation: Meridian Park, Deerfield Nature Park, Majeski Landing; the river flows east into Midland County where it is joined by the Pine River at the Chippewa Nature Center in Homer Township joins the Tittabawassee River in downtown Midland under The Tridge.
The river flows with a mean discharge rate of 254 ft³/s at its gauge near Mount Pleasant. It is locally known for bass fishing. Chubs and redhorses are abundant. There are two canoe liveries on the river: Chippewa River Outfitters and Buckley's Mountainside Canoe Livery; the liveries offer canoe and tubing trips for a few hours to all day an overnight camping trip. The river flows through a gravel pit named Hubsher Gravel Pit; the river is a main water source for the city of Mount Pleasant. From the mouth: Pine RiverSee Pine River for tributaries of the Pine River Dice Drain Wilson Drain Huber Drain Baker Drain Hoxie Drain Little Salt Creek known as Little Salt River Turkey Creek Frost Drain Salt Creek known as Little Salt Creek, Little Salt River, Salt River Kirch Drain Thrasher Creek Black Creek Potter Creek Onion Creek Childs Creek LaStrange LakeLyons Lake Mud Lake Figg Drain Parcher Drain Wyant Drain Mission Creek North Branch Chippewa River Hogg Creek Hagerman Drain Schofield Creek Stevenson LakeOwens Lake Deadman Swamp Grass Lake Johnson CreekPeas LakeWing Lake Cedar Creek Stony BrookWoodruff Lake Coldwater RiverSee Coldwater River for tributaries of the Coldwater River Lake Isabella Squaw CreekLong Pond Indian CreekIndian Lake Six LakesLong Lake Round Lake Hoffman Lake Strong LakeBamber CreekHannah Lake Moiles Lake Markel Lake Randall Lake Tanner Creek Sherman Creek West Branch Chippewa River Brown Creek Helmer Creek Winchester Dam forming the Martiny Lake Flooding Tubbs Lake Lost Lake Diamond Lake Big Evans LakeRoundy BranchHills Lake Pine Lake Upper Evans Lake Manake Lake Lower Evans LakeChippewa CreekChippewa LakeLong Lake Saddlebag Lake Bullhead Lake Boom Lake Bass Lake Dogfish Lake Halfmoon Lake Mud Lake North Branch Chippewa River Rattail CreekRattail Lakes Butts Creek Benjamin Creek Merrill Lake Tubs Lake Atkinson Creek Big Cranberry LakeMystic LakeCrooked Lake Three Lake CreekThree Lake Schrouder, Kathrin S..
"Tittabawassee River Assessment, Fisheries Special Report 52". Fisheries Special/Management Reports. Ann Arbor: State of Michigan, Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division. Retrieved December 12, 2010. Hayes, E. L.. "Martiny Townhship". Atlas of Mecosta County, Michigan. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Library. P. 23. Retrieved 2010-12-13. USGS Water Data Isabella County Park Information
Ottawa County, Michigan
Ottawa County is a county located in the U. S. state of Michigan. As of the United States 2010 Census, the population was 263,801; the county seat is Grand Haven. The county is named for the Ottawa Nation, it was set off in 1831 and organized in 1837. Ottawa County is included in MI Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,631 square miles, of which 563 square miles is land and 1,068 square miles is water. Muskegon County – north Kent County – east Allegan County – south Milwaukee County, Wisconsin – west Racine County, Wisconsin – west As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 263,801 people residing in the county. 90.1% were White, 2.6% Asian, 1.5% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 3.4% of some other race and 2.0% of two or more races. 8.6% were Hispanic or Latino. 31.0 % were of Dutch, 5.8 % English and 5.7 % Irish ancestry. As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 238,314 people, 81,662 households, 61,328 families in the county.
The population density was 421 people per square mile. There were 86,856 housing units at an average density of 154 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 91.52% White, 1.05% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 2.09% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.48% from other races, 1.48% from two or more races. 7.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 37.3% reported being of Dutch, 14.6% German, 6.2% English, 5.6% Irish and 5.4% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 91.5% spoke only English at home. There were 81,662 households out of which 39.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.60% were married couples living together, 7.50% had a female householder with no husband present, 24.90% were non-families. 19.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.40% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.25. The county has numerous seasonal residents during the summer.
Port Sheldon Township has many lakefront homes and other inland retreats that serve as summer getaways for residents of Grand Rapids and Chicago. No official statistics are compiled on seasonal residents; the county population contains 28.70% under the age of 18, 11.90% from 18 to 24, 29.30% from 25 to 44, 20.00% from 45 to 64, 10.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.20 males. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranks Ottawa County as Michigan's second-healthiest county, preceded only by the leisure-oriented Traverse City area; the median income for a household in the county was $52,347, the median income for a family was $59,896. Males had a median income of $42,180 versus $27,706 for females; the per capita income for the county was $21,676. About 3.10% of families and 5.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.70% of those under age 18 and 4.90% of those age 65 or over.
The Christian Reformed Church in North America had 67 churches and 33,700 members the Reformed Church in America had 47 congregations and 33,300 members the Catholic Church had 11 churches and 24,700 members. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has two meetinghouses in the county. Ottawa County operates the County jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, records deeds and vital records, administers public health regulations, participates with the state in the provision of social services; the county board of commissioners controls the budget and has limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most local government functions – police and fire and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance etc. – are the responsibility of individual cities and townships. Ottawa County is a stronghold of the Republican Party; the last Democratic Party candidate to carry the county was George B. McClellan in 1864. In 1912, the nominal Republican Party candidate did not carry the county, due to "Bull Moose Party" candidate and former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt's unsuccessful campaign, which took the county's vote.
Beginning in 2015, County Administrator Alan Vanderberg has signaled that the county is too white and needs to embrace diversity. He said that Ottawa County is facing an "ugly challenge" with eliminating discrimination. Vanderberg said that Ottawa County's future prosperity depends on changing the racial and ethnic mix; the county "rebranded" its image in 2017 in part due to increasing minority in-migration. The county board adopted the slogan "Where you belong." Vanderberg said the slogan is intended to let everyone, regardless of color, ethnic background, sexual identity, religion or other qualifier, know they are welcome in Ottawa County. Spring Lake Allendale Beechwood Jenison List of Michigan State Historic Sites in Ottawa County, Michigan National Register of Historic Places listings in Ottawa County, Michigan County of Ottawa Grand Haven & Tri-Cities Alumni "Bibliography on Ottawa County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
Midland is a city in the U. S. state of Michigan in the Tri-Cities region of Central Michigan. It is the county seat of Midland County; the city's population was 41,863 as of the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Midland Micropolitan Statistical Area, part of the larger Saginaw-Midland-Bay City Combined Statistical Area. In 2010, Midland was named the no. 4 Best Small City to raise a family in by Forbes magazine. By the late 1820s, Midland was established as a fur trading post of the American Fur Company supervised by the post at Saginaw. Here agents purchased furs from Ojibwe trappers; the Campau family of Detroit operated an independent trading post at this location in the late 1820s. The Dow Chemical Company was founded in Midland in 1897, its world headquarters are still located there. Through the influence of a Dow Chemical plant opening in Handa, Japan and Handa have become sister cities; the Dow Corning Corporation and Chemical Bank are headquartered in Midland. In 1969 the city unilaterally defined a Midland Urban Growth Area, which at the time was a territory two-miles around the city limits of Midland in an attempt to control urban sprawl.
The central policy was that as the only capable supplier of drinking water, the city would provide water services to communities outside the MUGA such as the nearby village of Sanford, but would not provide to water services to the area within the MUGA without annexation to the city of Midland thus controlling most of the growth in the county. Since 1991 however, the policy has since been revised with a series of Urban Cooperation Act Agreements with surrounding townships which has allowed case-by-case redrawings of the MUGA line to allow Midland to sell water to the surrounding townships without annexation; as of the census of 2010, there were 41,863 people, 17,506 households, 10,766 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,242.2 inhabitants per square mile. There were 18,578 housing units at an average density of 551.3 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 92.0% White, 2.0% Black, 0.3% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, 1.8% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population. There were 17,506 households of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.1% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.5% had a male householder with no wife present, 38.5% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.94. The median age in the city was 38.3 years. 23.4% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 48.1% male and 51.9% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 41,685 people, 16,743 households, 11,000 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,254.9 per square mile. There were 17,773 housing units at an average density of 535.0 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 93.38% White, 1.82% Black, 0.29% Native American, 2.69% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.57% from other races, 1.19% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.92% of the population. There were 16,743 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.3% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.00. In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 25.9% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.1 males. The median income for a household in the city was $48,444, the median income for a family was $64,949. Males had a median income of $53,208 versus $31,098 for females; the per capita income for the city was $26,818.
About 5.5% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.5% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over. Midland uses the council-manager form of government; the council consists of five members elected from geographic wards. Council members serve a two-year term, the full council is elected during odd years; the mayor and the mayor pro tem are chosen from the elected council by a vote of the council, who appoint the city manager and city attorney, who serve at the pleasure of the council. Federally, Midland is located in Michigan's 4th congressional district, represented by Republican John Moolenaar. Scheduled airline service is available from MBS International Airport near Freeland and Flint's Bishop International Airport; the Jack Barstow Municipal Airport, dedicated May 30, 1936, is a general aviation airport operated by the city and available for private planes. There is no scheduled public transportation. Residents can call in advance to schedule pickup or return transport within the county by one government sponsored agency, "Dial-A-Ride", offering transport within the city only.
"County Connection" a private run public transport for those outside the city of Midland but still within Midland County both for a nominal fee. Both offer reduced fare rides for elderly and youth. A limited number of taxicab co
Mid Michigan called Central Michigan, is a region in the Lower Peninsula of the U. S. state of Michigan. As its name implies, it is the middle area of the Lower Peninsula. Lower Michigan is said to resemble a mitten, Mid Michigan corresponds to the Thumb and palm, stretching from Michigan's eastern shoreline along Lake Huron into the fertile rolling plains of the Michigan Basin; the region contains cities of moderate size including Flint and the state capital of Lansing. For the most part, Central Michigan and Mid Michigan are synonymous with each other, representing the same geographic area of Michigan. However, some definitions of Central Michigan and Mid Michigan can vary depending on one's point of reference; the Greater Lansing area, sometimes called the Capitol Region, includes the area surrounding the state capitol of Lansing and nearby East Lansing. The Greater Tri-Cities area called the Great Lakes Bay Region, is the area surrounding the Saginaw Bay including the cities of Saginaw, Bay City and can be expanded to include Mt. Pleasant as well.
The Flint area is included in Mid Michigan, can be considered a part of Metro Detroit. The Thumb is a peninsula; this area is sometimes dubbed the Blue Water Area. Central or Mid Michigan can include areas that are referred to as Southern Michigan; this is loosely defined and can refer to a region in the south-central portion of the state characterized by the Irish Hills. The region includes the Adrian and Hillsdale areas which are considered a part of Southeast Michigan. Portions of Central or Mid Michigan can overlap with portions of Western Michigan. For example, areas of Montcalm County could fall into both regions, with the west side of the county such as Greenville aligning with West Michigan, eastern portions identifying more with Central Michigan; some areas may overlap with what is known as Northern Michigan. These areas, such as Clare and Arenac County are along the border of the two regions and can be considered parts of both, depending on your frame of reference. Portions of Metro Detroit can overlap with Central Michigan the counties of Genesee, Livingston and St. Clair are statistically included in Metro Detroit however geographically lie in Mid Michigan.
See also: Protected areas of Michigan and Geography of Michigan. The region includes many rivers including the Grand River, Red Cedar River, Saginaw River, Tittabawassee River, Shiawassee River and Flint River. A drainage divide occurs in Central Michigan, causing the Grand River to flow west into Lake Michigan and the Saginaw River to empty into the Saginaw Bay; the terrain has rolling plains with fertile soil. Agriculture dominates in the rural areas, where corn, sugar beets, hay are grown; the region has small towns with a few cities of notable size. Most of the area is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lansing or Roman Catholic Diocese of Saginaw. See also: Michigan Municipalities by Population Central Michigan has several cities of regional and geographic importance: Lansing, is the capital of Michigan and centrally located in the Lower Peninsula, it is the fifth largest city in the state. The Lansing-East Lansing metropolitan area is the third largest metro area in Michigan. Flint is the sixth largest city in the state and an important center for Michigan's automotive industry.
The Tri-Cities area includes Midland, Bay City, Saginaw. The Saginaw and Bay City metropolitan area is the fifth largest metro area in Michigan. Central Michigan has a rich and varied culture, including European farmers who settled in rural areas to work the land and ethnic minorities populating the area's urban centers to make a living in the automobile industry; the Mid-Michigan area was predominately Ojibwe territory prior to colonization. One of the first European settlements in the region was the French Fort St. Joseph in present-day Port Huron in 1686; the area that became Michigan opened up to European settlement following the Indian war. In the 1800s Lewis Cass would negotiate the Treaty of Saginaw, in which Ojibwe land was handed over to form much of present-day Mid-Michigan; the opening of the Erie Canal brought vast numbers of settlers to the region, as population started growing northward from Ohio. The first settlers to the area cleared the land for the lumber industry. Forests of the Thumb and Saginaw Valley provided much of the lumber to feed the growing United States.
The convenient access to transportation provided by the Saginaw River and its numerous tributaries fueled a massive expansion in population and economic activity. As the trees were being cut down in the region, logs were floated down the rivers to sawmills located in Saginaw, destined to be loaded onto ships and railroad cars. Flint was a lumber boom town, with the city turning lumber into carriages and wagons, which would give way to the automobile industry. Michigan became a state in 1837, with the State Capitol in Detroit until the winter of 1847 when the state constitution required that the capital be moved from Detroit to a more central and safer location in the interior of the state. Many were concerned about Detroit's proximity to British-controlled Canada, which had captured Detroit in the War of 1812; the United States had recaptured the city in 1813, but these events led to the dire need to have the center of government relocated away from hostile British territory. There was concern with Detroit's strong influence over Michigan politics, being the largest city in the state as well as the capital city.
Unable to publicly reach a consensus because of constant political wrangling, the Michigan House of Representat
St. Clair River
The St. Clair River is a 40.5-mile-long river in central North America which drains Lake Huron into Lake St. Clair, forming part of the international boundary between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U. S. state of Michigan. The river is a significant component in the Great Lakes Waterway, with shipping channels permitting cargo vessels to travel between the upper and lower Great Lakes; the river, which some consider a strait, flows in a southerly direction, connecting the southern end of Lake Huron to the northern end of Lake St. Clair, it branches into several channels near its mouth at Lake St. Clair, creating a broad delta region known as the St. Clair Flats; the river drops 5 feet in elevation from Lake Huron to Lake St. Clair; the flow rate averages around 182,000 cubic feet per second, the drainage area is 223,600 square miles. This takes into account the combined drainage areas of Lakes Huron and Superior. In the 18th century, French voyageurs and coureurs des bois travelled on the river to trade with Native Americans and transport furs in canoes to major posts of French and British traders, including Fort Detroit, built downriver in 1701.
European demand for American furs beaver, was high until the 1830s. Ships built at Marine City, during the mid-19th century carried immigrants up the river on their way to new homes in the American West. Lumber harvested on The Thumb of Michigan was shipped downriver as log rafts to Detroit. In the early 20th century, lake steamers carried passengers and traveled among the small towns along the St. Clair and Detroit rivers, around the Great Lakes. During the 20th century, freighters traveled throughout the Great Lakes transporting commodities such as iron ore from the Mesabi Range and grain, all products of settlers' labor. Iron was taken to Ashtabula and other industrial cities for processing and steel manufacture, grain was shipped through to major eastern markets such as Cleveland and New York City; the St. Clair River and its Lambton County tributaries in Ontario contributes 103,210 acres to the watershed, although this does not include the Sydenham River watershed. In Michigan, the Black River, Pine River, Belle River drain 780,600 acres in Lapeer, Sanilac, St. Clair counties.
Stag Island lies between Corunna and Marysville, Michigan. Fawn Island is near Port Lambton and Marine City, Michigan. Walpole, Bassett, Pottowatamie, St. Anne, Dickinson and Harsens islands are located where the St. Clair River flows into Lake St. Clair near Algonac, Michigan; these islands are part of the only major river delta in the Great Lakes. Six of the islands in this delta are unceded territory that are part of the Walpole Island First Nations, whose members include Ojibwe and Odawa peoples, they call this delta area Bkejwanong, meaning "where the waters divide". Most of the watershed away from the river in Ontario and Michigan is used for agriculture. There were numerous sugar beet farms in the flatlands, an annual beet market was held in Marine City, for years at harvest time. Many of the 19th-century English immigrants to this area came from Lincolnshire, where sugar beets have been a major commodity crop. A few forest and wetland areas have survived, although their area has declined since European settlement and development of cultivated fields for various agricultural crops.
Much of the shoreline on both sides of the St. Clair River is urbanized and industrialized. Intensive development has occurred in and near the adjacent cities of Port Huron and Sarnia, Ontario, at the northern end of the river; the heaviest concentration of industry, including a large petrochemical complex, lies along the Ontario shore south of Sarnia. Several communities along the St. Clair rely on the river as their primary source of drinking water. About one-third to one-half of the residents of Michigan receive their water from the St. Clair/Detroit River waterway. Industries including petroleum refineries, chemical manufacturers, paper mills, salt producers and electric power plants need high-quality water for their operations. Since the late 20th century and passage of environmental laws to protect air and water quality, there have still been events when some of these industries have illegally contaminated river waters after discharging pollutants. Major clean-up activities were required.
Land areas of the St. Clair River shoreline and flats consist of two biological zones: upland and transitional, both of which are above the water table, but which may be flooded periodically; the upland forests consist of deciduous species, many of which are near their northern climatic limit. Most pre-European settlement trees have been cleared for industry, or urbanization. Remaining forest stands, such as oak savannas as well as lakeplain prairies, are found along the southern reaches of the river on the islands of the St. Clair River Delta and on the Michigan shore in Algonac State Park. Transitional species are abundant in the low-lying regions, categorized as shrub ecotones, wet meadows, sedge marshes, island shorelines and beaches; this habitat is home to water and land mammals, including humans, as well as songbirds, insects, pollinators and amphibians. The aquatic habitat of the St. Clair River ranges from deep and fast near the Blue Water Bridge to shallow and slow in the lower river near its discharge point into Lake St. Clair.
Each area provides a unique habitat for
Lake Huron is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. Hydrologically, it comprises the easterly portion of Lake Michigan–Huron, having the same surface elevation as its westerly counterpart, to which it is connected by the 5-mile-wide, 20-fathom-deep Straits of Mackinac, it is shared on the north and east by the Canadian province of Ontario and on the south and west by the state of Michigan in the United States. The name of the lake is derived from early French explorers who named it for the Huron people inhabiting the region; the Huronian glaciation was named due to evidence collected from Lake Huron region. The northern parts of the lake include the North Georgian Bay. Across the lake to the southwest is Saginaw Bay; the main inlet is the St. Marys River, the main outlet is the St. Clair River. By surface area, Lake Huron is the second-largest of the Great Lakes, with a surface area of 23,007 square miles — of which 9,103 square miles lies in Michigan. By volume however, Lake Huron is only the third largest of the Great Lakes, being surpassed by Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.
When measured at the low water datum, the lake contains a volume of 850 cubic miles and a shoreline length of 3,827 mi. The surface of Lake Huron is 577 feet above sea level; the lake's average depth is 32 fathoms 3 feet. It has a greatest breadth of 183 statute miles. Cities with over 10,000 people on Lake Huron include Sarnia, the largest city on Lake Huron, Saugeen Shores in Canada and Bay City, Port Huron, Alpena in the United States. A large bay that protrudes northeast from Lake Huron into Ontario, Canada, is called Georgian Bay. A notable feature of the lake is Manitoulin Island, which separates the North Channel and Georgian Bay from Lake Huron's main body of water, it is the world's largest lake island. Major centres on Georgian Bay include Owen Sound, Wasaga Beach, Midland, Port Severn and Parry Sound. A smaller bay that protrudes southwest from Lake Huron into Michigan is called Saginaw Bay. Historic High Water The lake fluctuates from month to month with the highest lake levels in October and November.
The normal high-water mark is 2.00 feet above datum. In the summer of 1986, Lakes Michigan and Huron reached their highest level at 5.92 feet above datum. The high-water records began in February 1986 and lasted through the year, ending with January 1987. Water levels ranged from 3.67 to 5.92 feet above Chart Datum. Historic Low Water Lake levels tend to be the lowest in winter; the normal low-water mark is 1.00 foot below datum. In the winter of 1964, Lakes Michigan and Huron reached their lowest level at 1.38 feet below datum. As with the high-water records, monthly low-water records were set each month from February 1964 through January 1965. During this twelve-month period, water levels ranged from 1.38 to 0.71 feet below Chart Datum. The Great Lakes Circle Tour is a designated scenic road system connecting all the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. Lake Huron has the largest shore line length of any of the Great Lakes, counting its 30,000 islands. Lake Huron is separated from Lake Michigan, which lies at the same level, by the 5-mile-wide, 20-fathom-deep Straits of Mackinac, making them hydrologically the same body of water.
Aggregated, Lake Huron-Michigan, at 45,300 square miles, "is technically the world's largest freshwater lake." When counted separately, Lake Superior is 8,700 square miles higher. Lake Superior drains into the St. Marys River which flows southward into Lake Huron; the water flows south to the St. Clair River, at Port Huron and Sarnia, Ontario; the Great Lakes Waterway continues thence to Lake St. Clair. Like the other Great Lakes, it was formed by melting ice as the continental glaciers retreated toward the end of the last ice age. Before this, Lake Huron was a low-lying depression through which flowed the now-buried Laurentian and Huronian Rivers; the Alpena-Amberley Ridge is an ancient ridge beneath the surface of Lake Huron, running between Alpena and Point Clark, Ontario. About 9,000 years ago, when water levels in Lake Huron were about 100 m below today's levels, the ridge was exposed and the land bridge was used as a migration route for large herds of caribou. Since 2008, archaeologists have discovered at least 60 stone constructions along the submerged ridge that are thought to have been used as hunting blinds by Paleo-Indians.
The extent of development among Eastern Woodlands Native American societies on the eve of European contact is indicated by the archaeological evidence of a town on or near Lake Huron that contained more than one hundred large structures housing a total population of between 4,000 and 6,000. The French, the first European visitors to the region referred to Lake Huron as La Mer Douce, "the fresh-water sea". In 1656, a map by French cartographer Nicolas Sanson