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The Huron River is a 130-mile-long (210 km) river in southeastern Michigan, rising out of the Huron Swamp in Springfield Township in northern Oakland County and flowing into Lake Erie, as it forms the boundary between present-day Wayne and Monroe counties. Thirteen parks, game areas, and recreation areas are associated with the river, which passes through the cities of Dexter, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Belleville, Flat Rock and Rockwood that were developed along its banks. The Huron River is a typical Southeast Michigan stream; mud banks, slow stream flow and a low gradient define this river. It runs through the following counties, in order from the headwaters to its mouth: Oakland, Livingston, Washtenaw, Wayne, and Monroe. There are 24 major tributaries totaling about 370 miles (600 km) in addition to the mainstream. The Huron River watershed drains 908 square miles (2,350 km2). It is the only state-designated Country-Scenic Natural River in southeast Michigan. This includes 27.5 miles (44.3 km) of the mainstream, plus an additional 10.5 miles (16.9 km) of three tributaries. The river was named after the Huron band of Native Americans who lived in the area. In Native languages, it was called cos-scut-e-nong sebee or Giwitatigweiasibi. It was part of a Native American trade route. The river has many dams, 19 on the main stream and at least 96 in the entire system. Most dams are only a few feet high, built to slightly increase and maintain water levels in existing lakes to provide drought protection and flood control, a use that is now environmentally controversial. However, at least a dozen dams were built for mill or hydroelectric power and several formed large new lakes behind them. Some of these on the Huron River mainstream are Kent Lake, Barton Pond, Argo Pond, Ford Lake, Belleville Lake, and Flat Rock Pond. The Huron River flows through numerous parks and is a prime canoeing river with a generally slow current and only a few minor rapids or obstructions, except for the short Delhi rapids which is runnable by experienced canoeists and kayakers except during low water. The river is heavily fished by sportsmen for rock bass, sunfish, bluegill, black crappie, white bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, catfish, trout, muskie, and below Belleville Dam, Coho salmon, Chinook salmon, and Steelhead. Suckers and carp are also common fish in the river. In 2009, faculty and students from the University of Michigan produced "Mapping the River," a multimedia presentation combining dance, poetry, music, and projected images which explored the role of the Huron in communities along it.
Big Rapids is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 10,601 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Mecosta County. The city is located within Big Rapids Township, but is politically independent. Big Rapids is home of the main campus of Ferris State University, a four-year public university, well known for its College of Pharmacy and the Michigan College of Optometry, as well as its NCAA Division I hockey team, the Bulldogs, and their Division II football and basketball team.
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume (1,180 cu mi (4,900 km3)) and the third-largest by surface area (22,404 sq mi (58,030 km2)), after Lake Superior and Lake Huron. To the east, its basin is conjoined with that of Lake Huron through the narrow Straits of Mackinac, giving it the same surface elevation as its easterly counterpart; the two are technically a single lake.Lake Michigan is the largest lake by area in one country. Located in the United States, it is shared, from west to east, by the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Ports along its shores include Milwaukee and the City of Green Bay in Wisconsin; Chicago in Illinois; Gary in Indiana; and Muskegon in Michigan. Green Bay is a large bay in its northwest, and Grand Traverse Bay is in the northeast. The word "Michigan" is believed to come from the Ojibwe word michi-gami meaning "great water".
Saginaw () is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the seat of Saginaw County. The city of Saginaw and Saginaw County are both in the area known as Mid-Michigan. Saginaw is adjacent to Saginaw Charter Township and considered part of the Great Lakes Bay Region, along with neighboring Bay City, Midland and Mount Pleasant. The Saginaw County MSA had a population of 196,542 in 2013. The city is also the largest municipality in the Saginaw, Midland, and Bay City Metropolitan Area, which has a combined population of 391,569 in the combined statistical area. Saginaw was a thriving lumber town in the 19th century and an important industrial city and manufacturing center throughout much of the 20th century. During the late 20th century, its industry and strong manufacturing presence declined, leading to increased unemployment, crime, and a population decline. Neighboring communities, such as Saginaw Charter Township, saw subsequent population increases while the city itself is projected to return to normal population growth after the decades-long structural changes to the economy.Economic development is focused on comparative advantages in innovation, clean energy, and continued manufacturing exports. The city continues to have a higher proportion of manufacturing jobs than the US average.