MSU conference explores need for greater international cooperation to protect vital global watersheds
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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. 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.
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.
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.