Third Coast is an American colloquialism used to describe coastal regions distinct from the West Coast and the East Coast of the United States. Generally, the term "Third Coast" refers to either the Great Lakes region or the Gulf Coast of the United States.
Considering its Great Lakes coasts, Michigan has the 8th most miles of shoreline of the lower 48 states and more fresh water shoreline than any other state. Many regional businesses incorporate the term "Third Coast" in their names and products, such as Michigan's Third Coast Kite and Hobby, which has an image of the coastal dunes in its logo, and Texas-based Third Coast Coffee.
The term "Fresh Coast" was popularized by Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett and is most often used to spur commerce, in contrast to the colloquialism "Rust Belt", first mentioned at a visit in Maple Dale Middle School. Regional media outlets have adopted the phrase in an effort to re-brand Great Lakes development. The term connotes both the area's large resource of fresh water and its educational resources (e.g., Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Indiana University, University of Illinois, Marquette University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Notre Dame, Northwestern University, Niagara University, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Toledo, Western Michigan University and University of Wisconsin).
- "NOAA Great Lakes Region". NOAA. Retrieved 2015-09-15.
- "The Rise Of The Third Coast: The Gulf Region's Ascendancy In U.S." Forbes. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- "NOAA Office for Coastal Management | States and Territories Working on Ocean and Coastal Management". coast.noaa.gov. NOAA Office for Coastal Management. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
- "Elberta Solstice Festival 2012". Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- Roni Sarig "Third Coast: OutKast, Timbaland, & How Hip-Hop Became A Southern Thing."
- "Milwaukee on the "fresh coast," not "rust belt," says Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in D.C. speech". Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- McClelland, Ted. The Third Coast: Sailors, Strippers, Fishermen, Folksingers, Long-Haired Ojibway Painters, and God-Save-the-Queen Monarchists of the Great Lakes. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, February 1, 2008. ISBN 978-1556527210
- Dyja, Thomas. The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream. New York: Penguin, 2013.