The five great lakes of North America – Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario – were carved by the retreat of a two-million-year-old glacier and form the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem. Great Lakes Untamed is the first definitive natural history of this vast watershed, highlighting its incredible wildlife, landscapes, and human significance.
The Great Lakes, also known as the Great Lakes of North America, are a chain of large interconnected freshwater lakes in the mid-east region of North America that connect to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River. Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario are all located on or near the Canada-United States border. Lakes Michigan and Huron are joined hydrologically at the Straits of Mackinac. The Great Lakes Waterway allows for modern water travel and shipping between the lakes.
The Great Lakes are the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes by total area and second-largest by total volume, accounting for 21% of the world’s surface fresh water by volume. The lakes have been a major source of transportation, migration, trade, and fishing, as well as a habitat for many aquatic species in a diverse region.
The Great Lakes were and continue to be heavily used for cargo transportation throughout the year. Not every ship makes it to its destination. Because the travel season has been extended, hazardous weather can be a factor, particularly in Lake Superior, where many ships have perished and lie at the bottom.
It is estimated that there are over 6,000 shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, some dating back to the 17th century and claiming the lives of 30,000 mariners. The National Register of Historic Places includes a list of shipwrecks on North America’s Great Lakes. This list includes shipwrecks found in Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario.
Jill Heinerth is pleased to be a part of this presentation.