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How are all of the Great Lakes interdependent?
from Mandi in Toronto, Ontario, Age 14

All of the bodies of water within the Great Lakes basin are connected together and are therefore part of a single (yet very large!) system of waterways, sometimes called an ecosystem. This means that what affects one part of the water, even in a remote location, eventually affects all of the lakes. This includes all of the rivers, streams, groundwater, and rainfall that flow into and out of each lake.

Phenomena such as pollution, eutrophication, acid rain, and invasions of non-native species in one of the Great Lakes affects them all. This is because the health of the ecosystem is dependent on physical, chemical, and biological factors that are all interrelated and constantly changing.

Related reference:
The Great Lakes Atlas, ch. 5: Joint Management of the Great Lakes

Thank you for your question!


Answered on June 26, 2001

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