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Great Lakes Article:

Highland Middle School students write about saving Great Lakes
Published in the Milford Times January 26, 2006

In my eighth grade class we have been learning about how dangerous invasive species can be to the Great Lakes. As a concerned student, it would be helpful if you stated the solution to this problem in the Milford Times to convince people to stop sending them over.

Invasive species are species that are shipped from different countries to the Great Lakes. They are very bad for the great lakes in many ways. They can eat other fish and plants living in the Great Lakes, Our ecosystem can be destroyed, and it also costs the state more than $50 million a year. If the situation gets worse then most people will leave the state, and it costs too much money a year. Please state what is being done to help stop this problem in the Milford Times. You could be helping a lot of people.

If we all learn about the dangers of Invasive specie, then we could stop this problem. Michigan will be a better place to live. Thank you for your time and consideration. Please respond by Jan. 21, 2006.

Chelsea Oldenburg

In my eighth grade language class we are writing on the topic of the Great Lakes. I chose the topic of water pollution. Before I even start I want you to know that I am very concerned about the water that is filling up our state's species and the harm that it is doing to both animals and people. I am also trying to help people understand that we are all part of water pollution, and I think its time that we do something about it. I am truly writing to you to tell you that our "pride and joy of Michigan," the Great Lakes, are under some serious conditions right now.

Pollution, it seems like we hear that work many times a week, but who really stops and thinks about who it is affecting? The truth is nobody, and it is affecting everyone around us, and us. Why are the Great Lakes so polluted? You know when you toss your Coke can into the trash can outside and you miss, do you go and pick it up? Or do you just leave it there and say "whatever?" Most people wouldn't care. That is a reason why our Great Lakes are so polluted. The cans can travel by wind to the water and float to sea. Some people even throw their trash into the water. Nobody cares anymore. That is a reason our lakes our becoming a garbage dump.

I am very worried about how the Great Lakes will be like in the near future. I am 13 years old now and when my generation turns 35, a statistic is that our environmental issues will double. That is why I am trying to help people understand what we are all doing to the Great Lakes. Thank you for your time and please write back before Jan. 18.

Ashley Fields

In my eighth grade English class I have been learning about natural resources affecting the Great Lakes. Oil drilling in Michigan and Canada has been polluting the Great Lakes. We should try to get Canada to understand why we want them to stop oil drilling. We need to have them stop or drill a lot less, because all of that natural gas and oil is polluting the water and ruining the environment.

Directional drilling is one of the main ways of drilling. It is where land-based rings dig under the Great Lakes and then pump the oil back to the shore, it reduces damage from potential accidents because the spill is most likely to end up on land or flow to the water. It caused 51 gas leaks in Erie between 1997-2001, and 83 oil spills between 1990-1995. Drilling is never safe or risk free. If we keep drilling the Great Lakes will get too polluted and there goes 20 percent of the world's fresh water. This will affect me when I get older. If all the Great Lakes get polluted, people will think that you could get sick from the water; they might leave and go to a state that doesn't have the problem. Because anywhere you go in Michigan you are always six miles away from a lake.

If we just get Canada and everyone in Michigan to stop drilling under the Great Lakes, then most of the polluting will stop, and more people will stay and not get sick. People might lose their jobs but there will be less drilling and less polluting. If we get Canada to stop drilling under the Great Lakes, we can take better care of our water and animals. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Stephanie Johnson

In my eighth grade language arts class, we are doing a project about the problems with the Great Lakes. The invasive species are a big problem in the Great Lakes. They are destroying the underwater habitat. But not only that, but they are causing problems around the Great Lakes also.

The invasive species living above the water are wrecking our food supplies. They are not only causing trouble to many farmers, but also they are eating our agricultural crops. Invasive species can travel to new places in or on our food, which offers opportunities of bioterrorism. Not only can they travel through our food, but also in imported plants, livestock, pets and sometimes in human travelers or their luggage. Also they can come in crates by an accident. When ships dump water very far away, it will be dumped into the other water with everything in it. We need to monitor very closely what is coming into our lakes so it can be stopped as soon as possible.

We can prevent this by filtering water to remove the organisms, heating or using ultraviolet light on the water to kill the species, or using a type of centrifuge to separate everything to try to control it, and I would like to know what has been done trying to prevent it. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Nicole McGill

I am a student at Highland Middle School and was assigned to write a research paper on the Great Lakes. I am concerned about the amount of water we are using from our Great Lakes. With you help and advice, I will be able to provide more information in my paper how this problem of water use is affecting our state and what we are doing about it.

As of right now from research, I'm aware that with Michigan's Great Lakes, not only states, but also bottled water companies use our water for their profit and households us water for plumbing in their homes. I would like to know what will happen if we continue to sell our water for money. I also want to know what is being done by the state of Michigan to contain the amount of water we keep and what we sell. If the state continues to give away our water we will be in great danger in a couple of years when we run out of freshwater which makes us so unique.

If you could be kind enough to answer my questions by Jan. 18 or 19 I would deeply appreciate it. Thank you for taking time to read my letter and listen to my concerns.

Hailey Donaldson

My eighth grade class and I are doing a project on the Great Lakes, and I am very concerned about the Great Lakes. My topic that I chose to talk about is Water Use and how many businesses and factories are using the water, putting it into the lakes again when it is dirty. I am extremely concerned about people overusing and polluting the water which could cause a very serious water shortage in the near future.

I am concerned because if we continue this, the fish and all of the other things that live in the lakes, they will die from the chemicals. Some factories use the water but filter it. That is one step closer to a better lake. Some companies such as Nestle and AbsoPure take the water and sell it. That is not a very good idea because big factories put all of the nasty water back into the lakes, and then we take a sip of it every day. Yes they filter it but it's never 100 percent filtered.

My main point is that we need to stop using so much water for industries and save it. What will happen if the Great Lakes end up going away because all of the good water was gone and it is all just slime and nasty bacteria. Well, I don't think that we will be known as the Great Lakes State much longer. We need to watch what we put back into the lakes. Big cities like Chicago, Detroit and Toronto suck up the water, use as much of it as they can then put it back into the lakes.

My concern for the lakes is high because of all of the life that is in them, the Dirty Lakes and the beautiful views from them. If we continue all of this polluting and water use for money, there won't be anything nice about the Great Lakes, just chemicals, bacteria and brown water. Thank you for your time about this very important issue

Jessica H. Bullion

In my eight grade we have been learning about water pollution in the Great Lakes. The lakes contain 18 percent of the world's fresh water supply. The State of Michigan should cut down water pollution by 10 percent.

Pollution pressures are intensifying from development, and every year thousands of tons of industrial waste runs down sewer pipes. 35 million swimmers each year get sick from the lakes because of all of the things in them such as the garbage coming from the sewer pipes. If we don't begin to clean up the Great Lakes, Michigan will not have as many tourists visit. Nobody wants to visit or live by a lake that is dirty and smelly. Also, many people would move out of Michigan if we let the lakes get to dirty. Solutions to water pollution in the Great Lakes would be to clean it up. We could have a large annual clean up and have smaller ones throughout the year. Also, we could put up signs to inform people about water pollution in the Great Lakes. Another solution would be to ask everyone that lives around the Great Lakes to donate one dollar. With that money we could fix the sewage pipes so they don't leak into the lakes.

In conclusion, we need to clean up the Great Lakes because it's only going to get worse. If we continue to pollute them, by the year 2020 freshwater will be the most sought after resource. If we take action now we can stop these things from happening. I would like to thank you for your time and consideration.

Kendra Boyle

In my eighth grade Language Arts class we have been doing research on various topics concerning the Great Lakes. The topic that I chose to research is invasive species. Invasive species are a big problem in the Great Lakes. They take the homes of the native species and sometimes even eat them.

Invading species get to our waters in different ways. One way is through ballast water. Ballast water is water that is pumped into ships at different ports. The ships are considered to have "Ballast on Board" or BOB. Once BOB ships arrive in another port, the water in the ships is discharged. When the ballast water is added to the ships it doesn't just contain water, it also contains organisms that are found at that port. The organisms that survive the trip are released when the ballast water is discharged at the final port destination. That is how some of our invasive species get her. All of this information can be found at

There is something called the Invasive Species Watch Program in Ontario that monitors and tracks the spread of invasive species. We can contact them and see how and what exactly they do so we can do something like it. We can contact them and see how and what exactly they do so we can do something like it. We need to take care of this problem before it gets out of hand. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Courtney Paige

I am 13 years old and in the eighth grade at Highland Middle School. I am writing you this letter because in my Language Arts class we are doing a research project about the dangers in the Great Lakes and what should be changed to prevent the pollution that is currently destroying the largest fresh water source in the United States.

I am doing my research on air pollution and the effects polluted air has on the Great Lakes. Pollution is really hurting our earth. People litter all the time, people drive cars, which puts emissions into the air. People throw oil and other toxic wastes into the Great Lakes, which kills our fish. What is currently being done to change the quality of the air to prevent pollution in Great Lakes? If you could take a moment and answer my question, I would appreciate your time.

If more people understood that they could lose the clean waters of the Great Lakes, maybe people would be more willing to change their ways and help prevent pollution. Thank you for your time.

Jessica Carpenter

I am a eighth grader at Highland Middle School who is studying the problem of invasive species in our Great Lakes. There are more than 140 invasive species in our Great Lakes at this time. I was wondering if you could help me with my research paper by providing me with some information to make my paper stronger and more educational.

Even though I don't have a lot of information, I do have some. I know that invasive species population are increasing rapidly. There are many of invasive species such as zebra mussels and round goby. Invasive species are a big problem in the Great Lakes region. They steal native fish's food and habitats and take over lakes. I would like to know how we are dealing with this problem and if our community is trying to help make people aware of this problem. I would also like to know what the state has been doing to prevent these non-native animals from entering the Great Lakes and other lakes around the state. Invasive species have had a huge impact on our lakes and we need to stop any future species from entering the lakes before its too late.

If you could respond to my letter with the information I am asking for, I would very much appreciate it. If you could send me this by Jan. 20 it would be wonderful. Thank you very much for reading my letter and listening to my thoughts on this subject

Hailey Donaldson

In my eighth grade science class we learned about invasive species in the Great Lakes. Invasive species can clog pipes, release toxins and steal spawning areas. There are 180 invasive species in Michigan. The state of Michigan should have higher security for boats dumping ballast water.

One type of invasive species called the goby is blamed for the decline of sculpin, log perch and darters. They also eat bass and sturgeon eggs. The state found a way to trap them, but there are too many.

If we don't do something people will leave Michigan and that's including me. Zebra mussels create toxins that the fish eat, so good bye fishing. There was also a fishing tournament where 400 anglers caught 5,000 gobies and one perch in five hours. Alewives wash up on shores and make sinking messes.

For a solution to keep more invasive species out of the Great Lakes we could raise security on ships carrying ballast water and to get rid of ones we already have we could use killer bacteria's that only effect certain fish. We could use chemicals that also don't harm other fish. We could also contain the ones we are able to.

Therefore I think we should try to at least raise security on ballast ships. The invasive species could make more people stay out of Michigan not including the fishermen that already do. Please help stop them and if you're able to please send me information on invasive species by Jan. 18, 2006. Thank you for your time.

Chris Groce

Your expertise is needed to help me with a research project I am completing in my eighth grade class at Highland Middle School. The paper is on the Great Lakes and the topic I have chosen is on invasive species that are affecting the waters.

There are 180 invasive species in the Great Lakes including zebra mussels, gobies, and ruffe. These invasive species have been brought into our lakes from water sheds and from the bottoms of shipping vessels. Now they are being transported into other waters by careless or uninformed boaters. People need to be educated on these invasive species and given regulations to prevent the species from multiplying or put into other clean lakes I would like the Milford Times to run an article for people to learn more about this issue we have in our Great Lakes. If this keeps up, our Great Lakes will be overpopulated with these unwanted species and filled by the waste they produce.

Thank you for your time and consideration in reading my letter. If the Milford Times has any information on my topic that might help me in my research, I would greatly appreciate it sent to me by Jan. 18, 2006. Thank you again, and I hope to hear from you.

Brandi Foss


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