The Great Lakes are an important part of the physical and cultural heritage of North America.
Spanning more than 750 miles from one end to the other, these vast inland bodies of water support life and provide water for drinking, transportation, power, recreation and many other uses.
Acid Rain - Problem
The Canadian environment is being altered by many human activities.
The growth of industries and cities has caused air quality to decline, raising concerns about the effects of fossil fuel use and acid rain.
Acid Rain & the Great Lakes
Factories near the Great Lakes have contributed greatly to Canada’s acid rain problem.
When chemicals from the factories join with water in the clouds, they form acid rain.
Acid Rain & The Great Lakes
Pollutants that are transferred from the air into the Lakes are responsible for harming the quality of the water in the Lakes, as well as the health of the plants and animals that call the Great Lakes home.
If a fish or plant is poisoned by pollution, any animal that eats that fish or plant will be poisoned as well.
If a fish or plant is lost from an ecosystem, all animals that feed on that plant or fish will lose their food supply.
Great Lake - Ecosystem
Preventing Pollution - Solution
In 1972, the U.S. and Canada created the first “Great Lakes Quality Agreement” pledging to clean up and protect the Great Lakes ecosystem.
New laws put strict limits on the amounts of chemicals that factories could release into the air, water, and soil.
Preventing Pollution - Solution (con’t)
Today, education programs encourage prevention.
People in industry and farming are using fewer harmful chemicals.
Consumers are also choosing products that are safer for the environment.
Most of the Canadian Arctic is covered in a sheet of rock called the Canadian Shield.
This region of ancient granite rock is sparsely covered with soil and deeply eroded by glacial action.
It includes all of Labrador, most of Quebec, northern Ontario, Manitoba, Nunavut Territory, and part of the Northwest Territories, with Hudson Bay to the center.
The Canadian Shield
The Canadian Shield
The Canadian Shield contains much of Canada’s mineral wealth, including diamonds.
Mining is the biggest industry in this area.
About 85 percent of the nation’s iron ore comes from mines near the Quebec- Newfoundland border.
The Canadian Shield also has large deposits of gold, silver, zinc, copper, and uranium.
Canada’s extensive mineral resources provide valuable exports and also supply domestic industries.
Minerals from the shield help fuel the manufacturing development of southern Ontario and Quebec.
With almost half its land covered in forests, Canada is a leading producer of timber products.
These products include lumber, paper, plywood, and wood pulp.
The major timber – producing provinces include British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario.
Canada’s Timber Resources
Canadian Shield & Timber - Problem
In the past, almost all of Canada’s exports were raw materials such as minerals and timber.
When too many of these raw materials are removed or extracted from the environment, it hurts the environment permanently.
Historical and current over-extraction of minerals and timber has threatened the future of available resources.
Canadian Shield & Timber - Solution
Today, Canada does not export as many raw materials, and it has increased the export of manufactured goods like cars.
Most provinces now have legislation requiring environmental assessments of new projects, such as mines, pulp, and paper mills.