What connects the Great Lakes together and how are the lakes used?
from Joe in Ohio
Rivers, lakes and straits connect the five Great Lakes together, creating one of the largest freshwater bodies in the world!
- St. Mary's River connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron
- Lakes Huron and Michigan are hydrologically one lake, connected by the Straits of Mackinac
- Lake Huron connects to Lake Erie through the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River
- Lake Erie connects to Lake Ontario via the Niagara River (and Niagara Falls)
- and, Lake Ontario connects to the Atlantic Ocean by way of the St. Lawrence River and Seaway
The Great Lakes are used for a variety of purposes, such as recreation, wildlife habitat, drinking water and irrigation. However, the connecting channels, along with a complex system of locks and canals, makes the Great Lakes fully navigable for freighters coming from the Atlantic Ocean. A freighter can enter the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence System from the Atlantic Ocean and travel all of the way to Thunder Bay, Ontario -- over 2,000 miles away!
Thank you for your question!
Answered on February 1, 2001
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