Great Lakes Environmental Directory Great Lakes Great Lakes environment Great Lakes grants exotic species water pollution water export drilling environment Great Lakes pollution Superior Michigan Huron Erie Ontario ecology Great Lakes issues wetlands Great Lakes wetlands Great Lakes Great Lakes environment Great Lakes watershed water quality exotic species Great Lakes grants water pollution water export oil gas drilling environment environmental Great Lakes pollution Lake Superior Lake Michigan Lake Huron Lake Erie Lake Ontario Great Lakes ecology Great Lakes issues Great Lakes wetlands Great Lakes Resources Great Lakes activist Great Lakes environmental organizations Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat air pollution alien species threatened rare endangered species ecological Great Lakes information Success Stories Great Lakes Directory Home/News Great Lakes Calendar Great Lakes jobs/volunteering Search Great Lakes Organizations Take Action! Contact Us Resources/Links Great Lakes Issues Great Lakes News Article About Us Networking Services

Great Lakes Article:

Great Lakes Struggle with Growth, Pollution
By Jerry Gasser
Published February 6, 2006

The Great Lakes, America's freshwater coast, continue to struggle with the legacy of pollution, invasive species and other ills inflicted by more than a century of population growth, industrialization, shipping, waste and storm water runoff.

Eight Great Lakes states' governors, and officials representing the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, signed a pact supporting a plan to clean up the lakes and address other problems such as water conservation and land use.

Water levels in lakes Huron, Michigan and Erie are a constant concern. After rising to record levels in the late 1980s, water levels sharply decreased to below historic mean levels. Low lake levels can negatively affect commercial navigation, recreational boating, marinas, beaches, fishing, visitors and residents.

Urban industrial centers dominate the Great Lakes shores, but its coasts are less threatened than burgeoning regions in the Southeast. In fact, the region is so vast that less than 10 percent of the 295,000-square-mile land mass has been developed.

In Michigan's Lower Peninsula, the Huron-Manistee National Forests and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore protect wide swaths of land. But Traverse City has been struggling with new demands for housing, shopping, roads and other services after the population grew 52 percent.

The Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council helped galvanize an agreement between government, business and environmental groups to work together toward a plan to cope with the region's growth.

"We run the risk of becoming like the Outer Banks if we're not careful and if we don't take advantage of these opportunities," said Emily Green, head of the Sierra Club's Great Lakes program.

Elsewhere, there are efforts to restore the waterfront of the Great Lakes. In Chicago, a 600-acre parcel is being redeveloped for residential and commercial uses.

"We have a unique opportunity to undo some of the mistakes we've made in the past and turn our face to the water as opposed to our backs," said Dave Ullrich, executive director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, a coalition of mayors and officials working to clean up the Great Lakes.


This information is posted for nonprofit educational purposes, in accordance with U.S. Code Title 17, Chapter 1,Sec. 107 copyright laws.
For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for
purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Great Lakes environmental information

Return to Great Lakes Directory Home/ Site Map