The Blue Water area of Michigan is truly a unique place in the world. St. Clair County is home to a modest 167,000 people who enjoy its beautiful shorelines and rural character. It is a place blessed by its natural environment and quaint hometowns nestled along its shores. But it also is an international community, a stone’s throw from Canada, and a place where global economies merge.
Our region once served as the guardian’s of the Midwest, when Fort Gratiot stood like a wooden sentinel to guard the narrow straits that connect Lake Huron and Lake Erie. Port Huron grew from the foundations of the fort and later became the boyhood home of Thomas Edison. The fort has long since been removed, but we enjoy its memory and are still vigilant as ships and boats, mighty and small, push up the river and into the big water.
The Blue Water area is an international center for commerce and the epicenter of the world’s largest automotive cluster. Canada is the top trading partner with the United States. Among the states, Michigan is Canada’s top trading partner. The Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron connects the U.S. to Canada and is our country’s fifth most active border crossing. Nearby, the continent’s most prolific rail crossing burrows beneath the St. Clair River, carrying goods through a double-stacked rail tunnel. Combined, the Blue Water Bridge and the rail tunnel represent the largest gateway of international commerce in North America.
The automotive industry flourished in Michigan at the turn of the last century when Henry Ford invented the assembly line. The industry grew and spread throughout the Midwest and into Canada. Today, St. Clair County is centrally located to 25 assembly plants, all within a four-hour drive. With the world’s largest base of automotive engineers and toolmakers, the cluster that has grown in our region is designing and building the future of mobility.
I invite you to visit our area, to see the bluest water anywhere, and watch international commerce flow from port to port. I think you’ll find that, along our shoreline, opportunity awaits you.