Detroit Zoo announces Great Lakes Nature Center in Macomb County

(WXYZ) - The Detroit Zoo is expanding its reach in metro Detroit with the announcement of the Great Lakes Nature Center, coming to Macomb County by the end of 2019.

The zoo made the announcement with Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel during a press conference on Tuesday morning.

According to the zoo, the Great Lakes Nature Center will be home to live native species of Great Lakes fish, amphibians, reptiles, turtles, small mammals, shore birds, birds of prey, butterflies and more. The zoo says many of them will be rescued and non-releasable.

Construction on the $10 million, 20,000-square-foot facility will begin as early as this year. 

The zoo expects that 150,000 to 200,000 visitors will come to the nature center each year.

According to the zoo, Macomb County was the perfect place for the center with 32 miles of coastline on Lake St. Clair and 31 miles of the Clinton River.

The nature center will "offer opportunities for family fun, learning, educational, programming and community engagement."

The next step, according to the zoo, will be to find a designer and the zoo expects to have an idea of what the center will look like in the coming months.

Right now, Hackel said they have a few locations in mind but they don't want to get specific in case other people come up with ideas for a possible location. The zoo says clearly the location should be on the water.

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