The Great Lakes have always played a major role in the region's economy -- as the backdrop for shipping, steel-making and other industries. Today, the lakes are crucial to wind energy, tourism and other elements of the new economy.
This week, representatives from organizations all over the Great Lakes met in Sandusky, Ohio, to grapple with the region's future. Harmful algae blooms, water quality and working with diverse communities were among the topics featured in panel discussions and sessions.
The U.S. and Canada announced Wednesday that they have finalized a plan for restoring and protecting Lake Superior's water quality.
A 96-page document from the Lake Superior Partnership outlines major threats such as invasive species and climate change. It also lists priorities for preserving the relatively clean waters, including ending the release of nine toxic substances.
This eerie video takes you deep into Lake Superior, where a century-old shipwreck lies, with masts and rigging nearly intact. Explorers Ken Merryman, Jerry Eliason and Kraig Smith recently used a remote camera to photograph their find: the 187-foot Antelope. The coal-hauling freighter sank in rough waters in October, 1897.