Great Lakes

Why environmental stressors hit Lakes Erie, Ontario hardest
Buffalo News, Jerry Zremski
The International Joint Commission panel mapped out the environmental stressors and found when it looked at the major challenges the lakes face–climate change, invasive species, excessive nutrients, pollution, habitat loss and others–cumulatively rather than as individual issues.”The stress was greatest in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario because you have the confluence of strong stressors,” said David Allan, a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan and the author of the report. “You have the most population, the most wastewater contributions, the most agricultural runoff contributions. You have an abundance of other stressors influencing those lakes as well.”

North America’s most valuable resource is at risk
National Geographic, Tim Folger
The five lakes—Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario—are arguably the continent’s most precious resource, incalculably more valuable than oil, gas, or coal. Together they hold more than a fifth of the world’s surface freshwater and 84 percent of North America’s. We drink from the lakes, fish on them, transport goods over them, farm their shores, and work in cities that wouldn’t exist without the lakes. And of course, we pollute them. We’ve introduced invasive species that have permanently altered the lakes. The fertilizers we use to grow the corn we feed to the animals we eat and to make the biofuels we pump into our vehicles have contributed to the resurgence of algal blooms so large they can be seen from space. And with our ongoing emission of greenhouse gases, we’ve even managed to re-engineer the weather over vast stretches of the Great Lakes watershed, increasing the frequency of severe storms.

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