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Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
The Great Lakes Ecosystem

The animation illustrates how water flows from one Great Lake to another and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean. This profile view of the lakes demonstrates that water flows from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan and Huron. Lake Huron then empties into Lake Erie. At the end of Lake Erie the water level drops nearly 170 feet as it goes over Niagra Falls and into Lake Ontario. From here the water travels through a series of locks that bring it to sea level, out the St. Lawrence Seaway, and to the Atlantic Ocean.

Alt | Win

EXPLORE: Go to the Army Corps of Engineers website and look up the different water levels for the Great Lakes. Look at the daily record of water levels for the current day of the month. Days are listed on the left hand side of the table. Compare them to the long-term average water levels (or surface levels) of the lakes in the animation, which you can see when you roll your mouse over the profile.

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