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What's New?

MSU conference explores need for greater international cooperation to protect vital global watersheds
MLive (11/25)
A recent Michigan State University workshop focused on water rights and improving cross-border policies for the protection of the great waters of the world.

VU students testing area waters
The Northwest Indiana Times (11/21)
Students of Valparaiso University, Ind., were at Lake Michigan to work on water quality measurements for an Environmental Protection Agency education project.

Forest Hills students put surf boards to the test in Lake Michigan
MLive (11/20)
Surf’s up! Well at least it was for some lucky students from Forest Hills Public Schools on Thursday, Nov. 19. Twenty students from each of the district’s three high schools had an opportunity to surf 10- to 12-foot waves at Grand Haven State Park, Mich.

City says yes to dock sale
Traverse City Record-Eagle (11/3)
In Traverse City, Mich., commissioners agreed to sell the coal dock marina to a group of nonprofit organizations focused on Great Lakes history, education and environmental protection to expand use for nonprofits and construct new, modern facilities.

TVDSB high school students learn about importance of Great Lakes
St. Thomas Times-Journal (10/31)
Participants at the Lake Erie Student Conference spent the day in Port Stanley, Ont., taking demonstrations on water quality testing, commercial fishing, birds of prey and the threat of invasive species.

TEACH Calendar of Events
What's going on in your neighborhood this month? Meet other people and learn together at recreational and educational events! Our new dynamic calendar is updated daily with current educational events.
Great Lakes Geography

table of contents
Introduction to the Great Lakes
The Great Lakes watershed
Lake Superior
Lake Michigan
Lake Huron
Lake Erie
Lake Ontario

Introduction to the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes--Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario--and their connecting channels form the largest fresh surface water system on Earth. North America from space. Click for a larger image.If you stood on the moon, you could see the lakes and recognize the familiar wolf head shape of Lake Superior, or the mitten bounded by lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie.

Lake Michigan beach. Click for a larger image. The Great Lakes, in their current state, are actually one of the youngest natural features on the North American continent. Covering more than 94,000 square miles and draining more than twice as much land, these Freshwater Seas hold an estimated 6 quadrillion gallons of water, about one-fifth of the world's fresh surface water supply and nine-tenths of the U.S. supply.

Fun Facts
Spread evenly across the contiguous 48 states, the lakes' water would be about 9.5 feet deep.

All five of the Great Lakes are among the world's 18 largest lakes by area and volume.

The Great Lakes and islands within them have more than 10,000 miles of coastline.

More about the Great Lakes

Graphics: North America from space; Lake Michigan beach.

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