Download Your Copy Today A guide to understanding Great Lakes’ influences for all ages. Size:
1.2MB, Updated: 9/26/2013
Great Lakes literacy is an understanding of the Great Lakes’ influences on you and your influence on the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes are socially, economically, and environmentally significant to the region, the nation and the planet.
The Great Lakes are a source of inspiration, recreation, rejuvenation and discovery. They are also an important
element in the heritage of many cultures.
The waters of the Great Lakes have been significant to historical settlement and development. The lakes’ names and the
names of many cities, counties and landmarks along their shores have Native American or immigrant origins. This fresh
water resource will continue to play a role in future habitation of the area.
The Great Lakes’ moderating effects on climate influence the human culture, activities, agriculture and health of
adjacent coastal areas.
Waterborne commerce moves millions of tons of cargo annually through the Great Lakes. Shipping is an economically
efficient method of transporting raw materials, finished goods and agricultural products. However, shipping is also a
vector for non-native species, several of which may be detrimental to the Great Lakes ecosystem.
The economy is diverse in the Great Lakes, with major sectors in industry, recreation and tourism, agriculture,
commercial and sport fisheries, forestry, and mining.
The Great Lakes were dramatically degraded and challenged by human endeavors in recent times. Basic ecosystem
processes have been restored through individual and collective efforts. Proper foresight and informed decision making
will continue to make the Great Lakes a model of environmental protection, restoration and innovation.