Fred Jaicks  Written and compiled by Fred Jaicks


Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario, and Lake Superior are collectively known as the Great Lakes. These lakes of freshwater are located in the northeastern portion of the United States. The Great
Lakes were formed several thousand years ago when a glacier travelled over that part of the country. The dynamic environment of the Great Lakes has been developing and changing ever since. The five lakes are home to all sorts of plant and animal life. Tourists from all around the world travel to the Great Lakes to fish, sail, swim, and observe the different forms of wildlife. The Great Lakes have a tremendous amount of beautiful scenery for visitors to enjoy.

The plants, birds, fish, and other types of wildlife in and around the Great Lakes all play a part in the ecosystem. Some of the fish that can be seen in the Great Lakes include Yellow Perch, Walleye, Ruffe, and Rainbow Trout. The Great Blue Heron and the Sandhill Crane are two examples of the beautiful birds that have been spotted around the Great Lakes near Lake Huron, in particular. The animals, plant life, and picturesque landscapes of the Great Lakes all combine to create an
amazing scene of nature.

A lot of commerce takes place on the waters of the Great Lakes. Many types of cargo are shipped including iron ore, coal, and various sorts of grain. The shipping activity on the Great Lakes provides employment for many people. Agriculture is another area of commerce within the region of the Great Lakes. Livestock production and corn crops are among the types of agriculture found there.

Pollution, different types of exotic species, and erosion are just some of the environmental issues that affect the condition of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes serve as a home to many plants and animals along with being a source of drinking water to people numbering in the millions. The preservation and the protection of the Great Lakes are matters of great importance to many people.

Studying the Great Lakes and discovering more about its ecosystems, can enable us to do more to protect the environment from harmful influences. For instance, there are groups that study various types of birds that inhabit the area of the Great Lakes in order to monitor population changes and trends. Research and information are two necessary elements in devising ways to help care for and protect the Great Lakes and their inhabitants.

A trip to any of the Great Lakes offers a number of activities that will suit the tastes of almost any visitor. Swimming, fishing, sailing, and sight-seeing are among the most popular activities for families. A nature hike and a tour of a light house are also educational and entertaining outings. The variety of restaurants, shops, and other attractions unique to the Great Lakes, are also great reasons to make a getaway to the area.