By COLLEEN OTTE & ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Ecosystem assets in the Great Lakes region, such as sport fishing, boating, beach use, park visits and birding, contribute significantly to the tourism economy of shoreline communities and can help shape restoration priorities for the lakes, according to a new study that incorporates highly detailed maps.
Such “cultural ecosystem services” are valuable to society and have “great potential for benefiting natural resource management and conservation,” it said.
Those services or activities vary in where they take place, and so do stressors, threats, to the Great Lakes, said the lead author of the study, David Allan, a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.