Great Lakes & Global Freshwater INLAND SEAS EDUCATION ASSOCIATION Protecting the Great Lakes Through Education
Picture by Google Earth
Distribution of Earth’s Water Icecaps & Glaciers68.7% Ground Water 30.1% Salt Water 97% Fresh Water 3% Other 0.9% Rivers 2...
Global Freshwater Resources <ul><li>Threatened by rising demands due to rapid population growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agri...
Global Freshwater Resources <ul><li>Threatened by changing climate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some regions could be stricken  b...
Global Fresh Water Crisis <ul><li>More than 1 of every 6 people lack access to safe drinking water (1.1 billion people) </...
What is Being Done? <ul><li>Inexpensive water treatment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pur packets, sand filtration </li></ul></ul>...
The Great Lakes Superior Michigan Huron Erie Ontario
Lake Superior Largest of the Great Lakes & 2 nd  largest lake in the world.  Deepest (max = 1,333 ft.) and coldest of the ...
Lake Michigan Michigan Second largest Great Lake by volume. Shores lined by the worlds largest freshwater sand dunes. Maxi...
Lake Huron Huron Third largest Great Lake by volume. Longest shoreline of the Great Lakes, including the shorelines of its...
Lake Erie Erie Smallest Great Lake by volume. Warmest, shallowest, & most biologically productive of the Great Lakes. (par...
Picture by Google Earth Niagara Falls
Lake Ontario Ontario Smallest Great Lake by surface area but much deeper than Lake Erie (average depth 283 ft, maximum dep...
 
Map provided by The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay
 
Water Pollution Causes <ul><li>Pesticides </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fields, lawns, & roadsides </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nutrient...
Water Pollution Causes <ul><li>Mining </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exposing heavy metals to leaching from rainwater, mining waste...
Water Pollution Causes <ul><li>Personal care products, household cleaning products, pharmaceuticals </li></ul><ul><li>Sewa...
Water Pollution Causes <ul><li>Heat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discharge of cooling water factories & power plants </li></ul></...
Map provided by the EPA Great Lakes National Program Office
Water Pollution Facts for US <ul><li>40% of rivers & 46% of lakes  are too polluted for fishing,  swimming, or aquatic lif...
Water Pollution Facts for US <ul><li>The Mississippi River (drains 40% of the US) carries 1.5 million metric tons of nitro...
What Can We Do?
Freshwater Stewardship <ul><li>If you live on a lake, stream or wetland plant a buffer zone of native plants along the wat...
Freshwater Stewardship <ul><li>Plant a rain garden, use a rain barrel to catch water from your roof, consider using permea...
Freshwater Stewardship <ul><li>Use less salt on driveway in winter </li></ul><ul><li>Switch fishing tackle to non-toxic (l...
Sources <ul><li>Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes National Program Office </li></ul><ul><li>www.epa.gov/glnpo/...
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Great Lakes & Global Freshwater

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In this session we will explore topics incdluing the formation of the Great Lakes watershed & current threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem. The Great Lakes will also be discussed in terms of global freshwater & challenges facing the world's freshwater supply.

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Great Lakes & Global Freshwater

  1. 1. Great Lakes & Global Freshwater INLAND SEAS EDUCATION ASSOCIATION Protecting the Great Lakes Through Education
  2. 2. Picture by Google Earth
  3. 3. Distribution of Earth’s Water Icecaps & Glaciers68.7% Ground Water 30.1% Salt Water 97% Fresh Water 3% Other 0.9% Rivers 2% Surface Water 0.3% Lakes 87% Swamps 11%
  4. 4. Global Freshwater Resources <ul><li>Threatened by rising demands due to rapid population growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agriculture – 69% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry – 23% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domestic – 8% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Varies regionally (India uses 90% of its water withdrawals for agriculture) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Global Freshwater Resources <ul><li>Threatened by changing climate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some regions could be stricken by droughts, others flooded by rain & rising sea levels </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Threatened by increased pollution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 90% of Europe’s rivers have elevated nitrate concentrations & 80% of China’s rivers cannot support aquatic life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asian rivers have 20 times more lead than the global average from rivers in industrialized countries </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Global Fresh Water Crisis <ul><li>More than 1 of every 6 people lack access to safe drinking water (1.1 billion people) </li></ul><ul><li>More than 2 of every 6 people lack adequate sanitation (2.6 billion people) </li></ul><ul><li>3,900 children die every day from waterborne diseases </li></ul>
  7. 7. What is Being Done? <ul><li>Inexpensive water treatment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pur packets, sand filtration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Green energy solutions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wind, solar </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Biotechnology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crops that require less water, bacteria that purify water </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Education & information campaigns </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Great Lakes Superior Michigan Huron Erie Ontario
  9. 9. Lake Superior Largest of the Great Lakes & 2 nd largest lake in the world. Deepest (max = 1,333 ft.) and coldest of the Great Lakes. So large that it could contain all of the other Great Lakes PLUS three more Lake Eries! Retention time of 191 years . Soo locks – first Canadian built 1797 (destroyed War of 1812), US built 1855 (now there are 4 locks) Superior
  10. 10. Lake Michigan Michigan Second largest Great Lake by volume. Shores lined by the worlds largest freshwater sand dunes. Maximum Depth 925 ft. Retention time of 99 years. Chicago Ship & Sanitary Canal (1887-1922)
  11. 11. Lake Huron Huron Third largest Great Lake by volume. Longest shoreline of the Great Lakes, including the shorelines of its 30,000 islands Maximum Depth 750 ft. Retention time of 22 years.
  12. 12. Lake Erie Erie Smallest Great Lake by volume. Warmest, shallowest, & most biologically productive of the Great Lakes. (part of the central basin goes anoxic in summer). Most densely populated Great Lake & is exposed to the greatest effects from urbanization & agriculture. Maximum depth 215 ft (average depth only 62 ft). Retention time of 2.6 years. Erie Canal (1825) connects Lake Erie to Hudson River.
  13. 13. Picture by Google Earth Niagara Falls
  14. 14. Lake Ontario Ontario Smallest Great Lake by surface area but much deeper than Lake Erie (average depth 283 ft, maximum depth 802 ft). Lies 325 feet below Lake Erie at the base of the mighty Niagara Falls. Welland Canal (4 canals built 1829-1932) connects Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, Trent-Severn Waterway (44 locks built 1833-1920) connects Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay. Retention time of 6 years.
  15. 16. Map provided by The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay
  16. 18. Water Pollution Causes <ul><li>Pesticides </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fields, lawns, & roadsides </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nutrients </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sewage, manure, & chemical fertilizers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Oil, gas, & additives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leaking storage tanks, oil-contaminated ballast water, oil spills, & drips from gas stations, industrial machinery, & cars </li></ul></ul>
  17. 19. Water Pollution Causes <ul><li>Mining </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exposing heavy metals to leaching from rainwater, mining waste (slurry) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sediment </li></ul><ul><li>Chemical & industrial processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Radioactive material, heavy metals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plastic </li></ul>
  18. 20. Water Pollution Causes <ul><li>Personal care products, household cleaning products, pharmaceuticals </li></ul><ul><li>Sewage </li></ul><ul><li>Air pollution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitric oxides, & ammonia </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Carbon dioxide </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Causes acidification </li></ul></ul>
  19. 21. Water Pollution Causes <ul><li>Heat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discharge of cooling water factories & power plants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Noise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ship engines, sonar </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Invasive species </li></ul>
  20. 22. Map provided by the EPA Great Lakes National Program Office
  21. 23. Water Pollution Facts for US <ul><li>40% of rivers & 46% of lakes are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or aquatic life </li></ul><ul><li>2/3 of estuaries & bays are either moderately or severely degraded from eutrophication </li></ul><ul><li>1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, stormwater, & industrial waste are discharged in US waters annually </li></ul>
  22. 24. Water Pollution Facts for US <ul><li>The Mississippi River (drains 40% of the US) carries 1.5 million metric tons of nitrogen pollution to the Gulf of Mexico each year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Results in hypoxic coastal dead zone each summer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In any given year about 25% of beaches in the US are under advisories or are closed at least once because of water pollution </li></ul>
  23. 25. What Can We Do?
  24. 26. Freshwater Stewardship <ul><li>If you live on a lake, stream or wetland plant a buffer zone of native plants along the water </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your lawn small & don’t use fertilizers/pesticides </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure your septic system works properly, meets current standards, & is pumped at least every 5 years </li></ul><ul><li>Drive slowly in your boat to avoid shoreline erosion </li></ul>
  25. 27. Freshwater Stewardship <ul><li>Plant a rain garden, use a rain barrel to catch water from your roof, consider using permeable pavement in your driveway </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Runoff that stays on your property will not wash contaminants into surface waters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Never dump waste into storm drains </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Run directly into rivers & lakes </li></ul></ul>
  26. 28. Freshwater Stewardship <ul><li>Use less salt on driveway in winter </li></ul><ul><li>Switch fishing tackle to non-toxic (lead free) </li></ul><ul><li>Learn as much as you can about freshwater & the threats it faces </li></ul><ul><li>Become a steward of & advocate for clean freshwater </li></ul>
  27. 29. Sources <ul><li>Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes National Program Office </li></ul><ul><li>www.epa.gov/glnpo/aoc </li></ul><ul><li>Google Earth </li></ul><ul><li>www.earth.google.com </li></ul><ul><li>The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay </li></ul><ul><li>www.gtbay.org </li></ul>All pictures and drawings not cited during the presentation were provided by Inland Seas Education Association. These pictures can be used freely for educational purposes if ISEA is correctly attributed. All commercial use of these pictures requires written consent from ISEA.

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