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Economic Benefits in Minnesota
As of 2014, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative had started 72 projects in Minnesota, totaling $22.9 million. In the state, the wildlife recreation industry brings in $3.9 billion annually, according to a 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey. The bulk of the spending comes from anglers visiting and from within the state, totaling $2.4 billion in 2011. Spending from hunters totals $725 million, while wildlife watching contributed $621 million to the local economy. In Minnesota, over 11,000 jobs are connected to the Great Lakes.
Almost 3.5 million people visit the shores of Lake Superior in Minnesota each year and those visits alone are estimated to contribute more than $1 billion annually to the state. More than 20,000 jobs are also supported because of north shore tourism. Tourism and wildlife recreation are dependent on healthy waters. A robust fishing and hunting economy is only possible when the ecosystem these animals live in stays healthy.