The Great Lakes are looking very attractive; everyone seems to think that there is lots of water to go around. In fact, there is not quite as much as people think, and it is not so pure as it should be. The Sierra Club of Canada notes:
* cities dump untreated sewage into the Great Lakes in enormous quantities;
* ocean-going vessels are responsible for at least 65% of the now over 180 invasive species wreaking havoc on Great Lakes native species
* water levels in Lakes Huron, Michgan and Superior are well below normal, with Lake Superior surpassing its recond low set in 1926
* unsuitable urban development is destroying sensitive wildlife habitat. Projections are that by 2030, 3 million more people will live in Lake Ontario’s basin, which could greatly increase these development pressures.Robert Oullette writes about why we need to protect them:
In spite of these threats, as a species we seem to think that if we can see a thing in its entirety we also understand it. The overarching view from space in the above photo gives that impression. We control this thing is its unstated subtext. Yet, we know that the idea is absurd. The lakes are in many ways an expression of the complexity found in each one of us because as some speculate water molecules from, say, Georgian Bay, at some time have been part of everyone—no matter where on earth. This visceral relationship between water and humans cannot be understood simply in a means and ends way, as a resource to be commodified and sold off. The lakes are mythic truths about our evolution that wet Ontario’s shores every day. Those truths are beyond priceless, they are worth protecting anyway we can.