Great Lakes Awareness Day is observed on May 8th, and in honor of that, we want you to know why the Lakes of Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario are North American icons worthy of praise.

1. The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system in the world. That’s right: Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario cover a total area of ​​approximately 245,013 square kilometers, connected by lakes and rivers. It’s a huge system.

Great Lakes from Space

Great Lakes from Space

As seen from space. Courtesy: NASA.

2. There is plenty of water on Earth (scientists estimate that our planet contains a total of 100,036 cubic kilometers of it). About 22,508 cubic kilometers of this is in the Great Lakes, making this basin home to more than 20 percent of the world’s freshwater surface.

3. And speaking of freshwater, here’s a fun fact: The Great Lakes form one of the largest surface freshwater ecosystems on our planet, providing 84 percent of North America’s surface freshwater.

4. Another thing about the Great Lakes Basin: It is home to more than 30 million people, including more than 30 percent of Canada’s population.

5. Experts estimate that there are more than 6,000 shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, responsible for the deaths of more than 30,000 sailors.

WATCH: Canada’s future of the Great Lakes in a changing climate:

Click here to watch the video

6. Today, the lakes are still an important transit route, helping to move around $19.8 billion worth of goods annually. They also support 237,868 jobs and $45.4 billion in economic activity.

7. An occasional increase in calcium carbonate concentration can sometimes make Lake Ontario water appear white.

8th. Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake that is entirely within the United States

Lake Huron in Kincardine, Ontario. Photo sent to The Weather Network by Dan Gibbons.

9. Would you like to take a trip around the Great Lakes? Pack snacks and dress comfortably because it’s going to be a while. In 1988, the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) established the Circle Tour, which goes around all five lakes and through the eight US states and Ontario that make up the official GLC. The 1,448-day Lake Michigan tour alone takes about 14.5 hours without stopping.

A storm on Lake Superior north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Submitted to The Weather Network by Dan Grisdale.

10 The Great Lakes are dotted with more than 35,000 islands, the largest of which is Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. On 2,766 square kilometers. Most islands within the Great Lakes are small and uninhabitable.

WATCH: How the Great Lakes produce ‘ice volcanoes’

Click here to watch the video


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *