The Lakes

The Great Lakes -- Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Superior -- are among the most important bodies of water in the world. They are the largest readily accessible source of freshwater on Earth – roughly 20 percent of the total supply -- and contain more than 80 percent of North America’s surface water supply.

Ways to Connect

It may be hard to imagine a composer being inspired by public hearings and court cases. But Lake Erie and its problems take center stage in a new oratorio from Cleveland composer Margaret Brouwer.


Kevin Lavery, WKAR

The Blue Water Bridge soars more than 200 feet above the St. Clair River at the southern tip of Lake Huron.  Every day, thousands of people cross this span, which stretches for more than a mile between the United States and Canada.

Crossing a bridge this high and long can be a little unsettling, even for an experienced driver. But what if you could make the trip with your foot off the gas and your hands off the wheel?

For the anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald's final voyage, mlive has put together an interactive graphic about the doomed freighter. It provides some of the radio chatter that surrounded the freighter as it was pummeled by a powerful storm on Lake Superior.

Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

The 2017 algae bloom is over in western Lake Erie.  And while it didn’t directly threaten drinking water, its bright green hue prompted national attention and hurt Lake Erie’s tourism business. 


Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio

  

At Brighton Beach outside Duluth, the waters of Lake Superior are stunningly clear. Looking into about six feet of water, it’s easy to see smooth rocks at the bottom.

But Lake Superior has lost its long-held title as the clearest of the Great Lakes. A recent study showed that lakes Michigan and Huron have changed drastically.

  

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