Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolution to Save the Great Lakes

On planet Earth the Great Lakes are freshwater treasures.  Let's make a New Year's resolution to do all in our power to save them from exploitation, pollution, invasive species and more nuclear power plants on their shores. 
Nuclear power plants may look like a solution to global warming, but no one has solved the problem of how to dispose of their hightly toxic wastes.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Review of the Dynamic Great Lakes by Barbara Spring

U.S. Water News - Peter Wild

Are dinosaurs cruising the benthic depths of the Great Lakes even while we go about our daily tasks? Not exactly. Yet sturgeon, fish weighing up to 300 pounds and similarly plated with armor,are nosing around down there. Occasionally you can see the monsters appear, making their spawning runs up rivers and surfacing like submarines in the pools beneath waterfalls... The five Great Lakes, holding nearly twenty percent of the earth's fresh water, are quite young. Gouged out by glaciers, they assumed their present shapes a mere 3,000 years ago. For that, they are a dynamic shifting system, still changing and exhibiting surprising differences. Lake Ontario, for example, the easternmost, although smallest of the bodies, holds more water than Lake Erie, its shallower nearby sister. Here's a handy primer for all such things, from the interaction of phytoplankton and calcium carbonate that gives a white cast to these inland oceans come August and helps clean the water to the charming ice volcanoes spouting chilly "lava" in the winter.

This is intriguing stuff for adults, but the straightforward presentation also lends itself to use in schools, beginning about the sixth grade and up. And yes, we get the latest news on the zebra mussel, the tube nose goby, and other threats to the natural scheme of things. Also good news; how since the banning of DDT in the 1970's, the bald eagles have come back.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

NOAA Chart showing depths of Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan's depths: red shallow, dark blue the deepest part.  Lake Michigan is divided into two basins.  Where you see a change from green to dark blue shows the two basins.  It takes 99 years for the water to circulate out of Lake Michigan from the south to the north.  That's why it is important to keep pollutants out of the Lake.  Read more about the circulation of water and more in my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes available in bookstores and on line at and Barnes & Noble as well as many other venues.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ice on Lake Michigan

The foghorn on the harbor is coated with ice and ice is beginning to form along the beach.  With high winds, cold temperatures and high waves, the foghorn that is usually all red is now nearly all white.

A word of warning: the pier is very slippery and some have lost their lives by venturing out on it under these conditions.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Niagara Falls are Part of the Great Lakes Ecosystem

When someone read my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes, she said, "I have visited Niagara Falls but I didn't realize they are part of the Great Lakes."

All of the water from Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Erie pours over Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario.  Read more about the world's largest freshwater system in my book.