Many Lake Erie water quality problems could have been and still can be averted if human, agricultural and industrial waste is kept from running into the tributaries that empty into the lake. There is plenty of evidence that in the past, little thought was given to protecting the tributaries that feed Lake Erie.
Can Lake Erie make another remarkable comeback?
Why study the Lake Erie Food Web?
Understanding this food web is important for protecting key populations from overfishing, global warming, habitat destruction and other problems that could result in food scarcities and extinction.
Because of its social, environmental and economic importance, shouldn’t you know more about Lake Erie and how you can protect it? By joining us here each Tuesday, you can learn about avoidable problems and what others are doing to protect our freshwater resources, including Lake Erie. The Lake Erie watershed is home to about 13 million people, supports one of the largest freshwater fisheries in the world and provides many recreational and tourism opportunities.
It will take more than governors and Canadian officials to protect the Great Lakes freshwater system.
Great Lakes system can’t afford so many water withdrawals
The Great Lakes may give the impression they are water-rich but they are like a finite and exhaustible shared bank account that could go bust.
A closer look at Earth from space reveals an immense shared system of freshwater lakes that are connected to each other and to the world ocean by the water cycle. The Great Lakes — Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario — and the rivers, channels, and smaller lakes that feed or drain them make up the largest surface freshwater system on Earth.
Pinpoint where you live. Whether it’s near a coast or hundreds of miles inland, the water cycle connects you to the ocean and all the water in rivers, lakes, under ground and in the atmosphere. A fixed amount of water goes around the Earth in a perpetual cycle to keep us alive but the activities of an exponentially growing population are bringing this complex water system to the brink of collapse.
However infinite our water resources may seem, there is only a fixed amount. Water goes round -and-round the earth in a perpetual cycle, connecting all life on earth past, present and future. The water that makes all life possible today is the same water that kept dinosaurs alive. Only 3 percent of the earth’s water exists in reservoirs, outside of the ocean – in ice, the atmosphere, groundwater lakes, rivers and living things.
How many monarch butterflies did you see this past summer? If you didn’t see many or any at all, you aren’t alone. Download the PDF of this week’s Erie Times-News, PA Sea Grant/NIE, Reconnect with your environment page to read about monarchs and more:
Main Office: Tom Ridge Environmental Center 301 Peninsula Dr., Suite 3 Erie, PA 16505 814-217-9011