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What do the Great Lakes mean to you?

2011 July 1

By Cameron Davis

A couple of weeks ago I took my 5 year-old son to one of my favorite beaches on the Great Lakes. Though outside it was pushing a muggy 95 degrees, the water temperature wasn’t even 60. But, the frigidity didn’t keep him from jumping into the waves. He played. He laughed. He splashed.

That’s the effect the Great Lakes has on us. Those of us who work, live and play here know just how lucky we are to have our HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior). They represent nearly 20 percent of the Earth’s fresh surface water at a time when clean, fresh water is at a premium. They support some 1.5 million jobs and they give us family memories that never, ever leave us.

This is one of many posts I’ll be sharing with you about the Great Lakes. Some will be fun. Some will be serious. But that’s the point: it’s time to take our restoration of the Great Lakes seriously so that our children and our communities can enjoy their waters.

Do you have a favorite memory about the Great Lakes or have you done something to help keep them clean? Feel free to share it with me in the comment section. If you want to find out more about our Great Lakes restoration efforts,  follow me on Twitter (CameronDavisEPA).

About the author: Cameron Davis is Senior Advisor to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. He provides counsel on Great Lakes matters, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. Marty permalink
    July 1, 2011

    I grew up in the great lakes area (Canadian side) I remember the good times at Point Pelee National Park and going to Pelee Island, boating in the Detroit river, fishing in Lake Erie, and lounging at one of the many beaches. I was so excited to show my American husband the lovely areas I enjoyed.
    You couldn’t imagine my dismay, on our first visit back to this region, when we went to my favorite local beach and found it closed due to the high coliforms. Since that time (10 years ago) I am very happy to see improvement in our waters. Please continue to make the clean water project a priority. There is still much to be done.

  2. Shawn P Boike permalink
    July 1, 2011

    The Great Lakes water make the best sweet pizza in Chicago’s deep dish. After growing up there it is great to see the dramatic improvement in clarity by lesser pollutants. Keep up the Good work monitoring it.

  3. armansyahardanis permalink
    July 1, 2011

    Great Lakes : Great Challenges !

    Many great lakes in the world spread in the continents and countries. Good names lakes are HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior), Victoria, Toba, etc. Its are interesting and have many functions : fresh water-home, fish industry, traveling and sources of energy. Some great lakes collapsed, because traveler and local people irresponsibility about them. The lakes are important for us, and we must save them forever….-

  4. Erica permalink
    July 1, 2011

    Used to live near Lake Huron in Northern Michigan and would drive to work everyday to find her in a different and subtle mood. She has innumerable faces. Spent many summers camping along the shore, but I especially love Negwegon State Park with its wild and unruly trees taking over the beach. The fact that it’s so unkempt is what makes it so wonderful. Makes you realize how so many of our beaches used to look.

  5. Felipe Cervantes permalink
    July 1, 2011

    I think the great lakes are a blessing to the good old US of A. let´s preserve these lakes for future use for human water consumption.
    water springs in the Los Angeles area cannot be seeing by anyone, they are protected, that is the fresh water to the city.
    If some people don´t understand that some things have to be preserved, let´s restrain the access to certain areas, it is allrigth to have recreational facilities in some areas under very close rangers supervition. Thank you for your attention
    Yo creo que los grandes lagos son una bendición para USA, conservemos estos lagos para agua de consumo humano para el futuro
    los manantiales alrrededor de Los Angeles estan protegidos y el publico no tine acceso a ellos.
    Si hay gente que no entiende de cuidar recursos naturales no permitamos el acceso y si hay areas de recreación que sean protejidas escrupolosamente por los guardias forestale. gracias

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