Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

History of the Great Lakes. Summary Formation About the Great Lakes The Individual Lakes The Great Lakes Restoration Act Restoration Goals.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "History of the Great Lakes. Summary Formation About the Great Lakes The Individual Lakes The Great Lakes Restoration Act Restoration Goals."— Presentation transcript:

1 History of the Great Lakes

2 Summary Formation About the Great Lakes The Individual Lakes The Great Lakes Restoration Act Restoration Goals

3 Formation About a billion years ago, a fracture in the earth generated volcanic activity that practically split North America. Over the next 20 million years, lava flowed from this fracture.

4 Formation When the glaciers arrived, the lava turned into ice. Once the glaciers started melting, they left high ridges which lead to huge lakes. These lakes are now what we call the Great Lakes.

5 About the Great Lakes The Great Lakes border two countries, eight states, and two provinces. United States: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin Canada: Ontario, Quebec


7 About the Great Lakes The Great Lakes form the largest freshwater system on Earth covering over 94,000 miles. –Lake Erie –Lake Huron –Lake Michigan –Lake Ontario –Lake Superior –Their connecting channels

8 Lake Erie Lake Erie is the smallest of the five lakes with about 120 cubic miles in volume. Because of it’s lush soils, the basin is the most densely populated and therefore exposed to the greatest effects of urbanization and agriculture. It covers parts of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, and Ontario.

9 Lake Ontario Lake Ontario holds over three times the volume of Lake Erie, about 395 cubic miles. More urbanization and agriculture takes part on the Canadian shores than the US shores. Ontario covers parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Ontario, and Quebec.

10 Lake Huron Lake Huron is the third largest with a volume of 850 cubic miles. It is joined to Lake Michigan by the Straits of Mackinac and is intensely farmed. Lake Huron covers parts of Michigan and Ontario.

11 Lake Michigan Lake Michigan is the second largest with a volume of about 1,180 cubic miles. It is the only of the five lakes that is entirely within the US. Joined to Lake Huron, it covers parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

12 Lake Superior Lake Superior is the largest of them all with a volume of almost 3,000 cubic miles! Besides being the largest of the Great Lakes, it also has the largest surface of any other freshwater lake in the world. It is the coldest and deepest lake, so there is little agriculture. Lake Superior covers parts of Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario.

13 The Connecting Channels St. Lawrence River Niagara River St. Clair River Detroit River

14 Facts The Great Lakes hold about one-fifth of the entire world’s supply of freshwater and nine- tenths of the US supply. They are the source of over 40 million American and Canadian’s drinking water. Feeds/houses over 3,500 species of plants and animals. The Lake Superior Basin can hold water from all four of the other lakes with room to spare.

15 Facts There are more than 30,000 islands in Lake Huron The oldest lighthouse in the US is located on the shore of Lake Ontario at Fort Niagara Lake Huron and Lake Michigan are hydrologically inseparable and together cover 45,300 square miles. Winds have produced a water difference in Lake Erie of over 16 feet.

16 Management of the Great Lakes The Great Lakes are located between two countries, so it may create some difficulty when trying to manage them. Both governments may have different perspectives on issues, though they agree that restoration is highly important.

17 The Clean Water Act In 1977, the Clean Water Act was passed to help regulate the discharge of pollutants into the US waters. Decades later, toxic contaminants and runoff continued to pollute the lakes, so it was decided that something more needed to be done.

18 The Great Lakes Restoration Act In July of 2003, the Great Lakes Environmental Restoration Act, introduced by Senator DeWine and sponsored by Senator Voinovich, was passed. The Act dedicates $6 billion over 10 years to help restore and protect the Great Lakes.

19 Goals Many things need to be done, but there are three main goals of the Restoration Act. 1.Stop the spread of invasive species 2.Restore the fish and wildlife habitat 3.Clean up contaminated areas

20 Goal #1 It is important to stop the spread of invasive species such as lampreys and zebra mussels because they prey on our native wildlife and are also dangerous to boaters and anglers. In the past decade, the cost to businesses and citizens due to invasive species was about $10 billion!

21 Zebra Mussels Lamprey

22 Goal #2 An estimated 70% of the Great Lakes wetlands have already been lost so it extremely important to restore what remains. These wetlands are crucial for fish and other water foul, to prevent erosion of soil, to provide recreation, and much more.

23 Wood Ducks Lady Slipper

24 Goal #3 Toxic pollutants make waters unsafe for swimming, fish unsafe for eating, and habitats unfit of wildlife. This is why it is extremely important to clean up these contaminated sites. An estimated $8 billion is needed to clean up previously designated sites.


26 Although the Great Lakes seem big and powerful, they are still in great danger. It is the only water system of it’s kind in size and ecological diversity. Containing forest, wetland, marsh, and dune communities, it is essential to both humans and wildlife as it provides food, homes and recreation for many.

27 Sources s/GreatLakessomefact.html s/GreatLakessomefact.html a09-46866.htm a09-46866.htm eId=290&issueId=32 eId=290&issueId=32 pressroom/gl_facts.html pressroom/gl_facts.html

Download ppt "History of the Great Lakes. Summary Formation About the Great Lakes The Individual Lakes The Great Lakes Restoration Act Restoration Goals."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google