From the editors of the Sudbury Star who warn that Superior’s lake levels have been below average now for almost nine years – a situation not seen in 100 years of record-keeping, and well beyond a statistical blip, to Michigan’s Attorney General Mike Cox, who has joined a lawsuit to force the Environmental Protection Agency to shield the Great Lakes and other American waters from continued arrivals of exotic species in the ballast tanks of ocean-going ship, it is clear that the alarm bells are sounding. Faced with a fast-moving and fish-killing virus, mysteriously plummeting lake levels and all manner of other threats, it’s probably wise to pay heed to the words of former Governor William Milliken who reminds us:
No resource is more important to Michigan’s future than the Great Lakes. They literally surround us, leading to our identification as the “Great Lakes State” … We made great progress in the latter decades of the 20th century reversing the old mindset of exploiting our natural resources, including the Great Lakes, and then cleaning up the mess at a later time. The lakes became more natural, drinkable, swimmable and fishable.
Progress was made and much was put right. However, all it takes is a few years of pretending that Michigan, Huron, Erie and Superior are somebody else’s problem for these beautiful and vital lakes – and all of us who rely upon them – to pay the price.
A hearty hat tip to greatlakesshipwatchers.com for finding some of these stories.