GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A study says the restoration of a 2.2-mile stretch of the Grand River through downtown Grand Rapids should generate from $15.9 million to $19.1 million in economic activity a year.
Anderson Economic Group conducted the study released Monday. It was commissioned by Grand Rapids Whitewater, a nonprofit group that advocates returning the river to a more natural condition.
It says making the river more hospitable for kayaking, fishing, rafting and other recreation will boost tourism spending and earnings for Grand Rapids workers.
Grand Valley State University economist Paul Isely says riverfront real estate development could make the effect even greater.
Restoration work planned for the river includes removing five dams, re-creating the boulder-strewn rapids and installing a barrier to block invasive sea lamprey while regulating flows.
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