Michigan is home to many unique plants and animals, and they are part of some of the most diverse ecosystems in the country, like dense forest, sprawling prairies, and inland ecosystems that provide habitat for moose, beaver, deer, common loons, monarch butterflies, yellow perch, and over 100 species of fish. Michigan also provides shelter and nesting grounds for thousands of migratory birds and waterfowl that pass through the state every year. Our state grows one of the most diverse sets of crops in the nation, including apples , cherries, and blueberries. A large portion of the Michigan economy is reliant on Michigan’s unique environment, with outdoor recreation generating over $30 billion a year and providing over 230,000 jobs for Michigan residents. Agriculture in Michigan provides over $70 billion a year to the state economy, and more than half a million jobs—approximately 12.5% of all Michigan employment. However the climate of Michigan is changing. Temperatures in Michigan in the 2000s have been the highest in recorded history, with both of Michigan’s peninsulas having warmed by more than 2°F on average since 1900. Consequently, Michigan is seeing increases in the frequency and magnitude of natural disasters, flooding, and extreme temperatures, which poses serious threats to the businesses and economy that are dependent on Michigan’s natural environment.
Read the full story at the Great Lakes Business Network website.