Students compete with underwater robots they build themselves
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3 | Cargoes: Iron ore and more
You'll be surprised to learn how much of the stuff you use every day was actually transported on the Great Lakes before it made its way to you! The steel in your family's car, the coal that produces the electricity that lights your home, the stone in the foundation for your driveway, the salt that de-ices your roads in winter, the wheat in your bread, the heating oil that warms your home...all of these products and more criss-cross the Great Lakes in ships.
Since 1959, more than 2 billion metric tons of cargo estimated at $300 billion have moved to and from Canada, the United States and more than 50 other nations, making the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence system an important part of the economy of North America. More than 60 percent of seaway traffic travels to and from overseas ports, especially in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Iron ore, coal, grain and steel make up about 80 percent of all cargoes shipped each year.Major cargoes
Graphics: Iron ore docks at Marquette, Mich., on Lake Superior; deck view of grain loading onto an American straight decker