The environmental degradation of the Great Lakes in the last 150 years was inevitable but not unavoidable. Unchecked coastal exploitation resulted from the mistaken belief that their enormous volumes of water could indefinitely deal with a growing human population and unsustainable development. Four of the largest U.S. metro areas and hundreds of large and smaller cities are located on the shores of the Great Lakes. With a population of approximately 40 million Americans and Canadians, the only way to restore and protect the integrity and quality of this important freshwater ecosystem is to understand the anthropogenic (human-caused) threats and work together to eliminate or alleviate them. 

Issue Publication Date: 
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

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