It’s the hottest day of summer and you’re out walking around looking for a way to cool off. You see a lake that looks perfect for a swim, but before you jump in you notice a sign warning that the lake is polluted and not safe for taking a dip. Still hot and thirsty, you turn to a nearby tap for a refreshing drink only to spot another sign warning that the water is not safe for drinking. That’s it! You decide right then and there that you need to take action! It’s time to join together with all Earth Rangers to protect the Great Lakes.
Importance of the Great Lakes
The Great Lakes include Lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior, and are found on the Ontario-US border. They are important to the 33 million Canadians and Americas who live in and around them because they provide jobs, leisure activities and even drinking water.
But we aren’t the only ones who benefit from the Great Lakes; they are also one of the most biologically diverse areas of Canada and waters from them flow through thousands of wetlands. The Great Lakes are home to over 150 native fish species and plants that are found nowhere else in the world.
Threats to the Great Lakes
Despite the many benefits the Great Lakes have to all living things, we are at risk of losing them.
They face some really serious threats like…
- Development of roads and buildings
- Demand for water
- Climate change
- Waste including pollution like pesticides, oil, road salts, and fertilizers
- Invasive species
Actions You Can Take
There are a lot of things you can do to help protect the Great Lakes.
- Reduce the amount of water you use. To start try having shorter showers and remember to not leave the tap running when you brush your teeth
- Dispose of your waste properly, by recycling and composting what you can and don’t litter!
- Avoid using chemical fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn
- Raise awareness about protecting our Great Lakes by sharing this information with your friends and family