A new study details the "huge" economic impact of the more than 100 lakes in Kosciusko County. The Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College in Winona Lake says lake-specific and lake-related business activity and tax revenue pumps more than $313 million into the region annually.
The center gathered data from more than 300 businesses, many of which it says, "would not have the customer base or the proper location to make a profit without the presence of local lakes." The businesses range from marinas to manufacturers to restaurants and grocery stores.
The center says the economy in communities like Syracuse, North Webster and Warsaw are tied so closely that a "positive or negative shift in the water quality of these lakes could enhance or severely harm the businesses that are located around these lakes. Major industries that would suffer dramatic revenue losses as a result of water quality degradation." Many respondents to the study indicated if there were no lakes or the quality of the bodies of water was poor, they would either do less business or relocate.