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The Great Lakes Ecosystem


Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
The Great Lakes Ecosystem

Great Lakes Basin

Great Lakes Collage

The Great Lakes Basin - includes five lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior (HOMES for short); eight states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and two Canadian provinces: Ontario and Quebec. Map courtesy of the Great Lakes Information Network.

Photos - Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, southern Lake Superior (lower left); Edison Sault hydroelectric dam, eastern Lake Superior (upper left); fishing on Lake Michigan (upper right); south entry lighthouse, central Lake Superior (lower right); free floating algae, pediastrum (center).

The five Great Lakes represent the largest surface freshwater system in the world. They contain enough liquid to cover the entire United States with 7 feet (2.1 meters) of water! The State of Michigan alone has 3,300 miles (5,300 kilometers) of shoreline. Over 33 million people live within the Great Lakes watershed. Within this module you will learn what makes the Great Lakes ecosystem so unique and fragile.

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