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

Submitted Art / Jennifer Nalbone

Its 20 degrees on a frigid Saturday afternoon. Jennifer Nalbone is standing outside a small Western New York airport waiting for her father Lou.


Margaret Thompson/ideastream

For Max and Lucy Schneider, the commute to Put-in-Bay School on South Bass Island starts with a take-off.

“I wake up in the morning, and then to get to school I go on a plane, and then I take a taxi to get here,” says Lucy Schneider, an 8th grader who enjoys cheerleading and art class. Her brother Max is a high school sophomore who’s involved with the basketball team and robotics club.

The Schneiders live on Middle Bass Island, about a mile from Put-in-Bay. The Middle Bass school closed in 1982, so since then, students have been flying to Put-in-Bay daily.

Margaret Thompson/ideastream

Great Lakes Today's Elizabeth Miller flew to an island in Lake Erie recently, to visit Ohio's smallest school, and her report was featured on All Things Considered:

School traffic never bothers Max Schneider.

In the airplane he takes to class every day, his commute is pretty easy.

For more than eight decades, an Australian lungfish named Granddad resided at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. The beloved fish made the journey from Australia by steamboat and train to dazzle attendees of the legendary 1933 World's Fair.

Since then, the aquarium estimates some 104 million guests have seen the famous lungfish.

Add this to the unexpected news coming out of the Great Lakes region: a huge fireball tearing across the midwest skies early Monday, headed for Lake Michigan.

Remarkable video from several sources, including a police dashboard camera, shows a blue-green fireball searing the night sky.

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