The Great Lakes are one of the natural wonders of the world and it is our responsibility to protect them.
These incredible freshwater lakes are bombarded by threats daily--stormwater pollution, industrial pollution, oil and gas drilling, over use, habitat loss and invasive species. Most of these issues seem too large for any one person to make a difference. But while state and federal government agencies are addressing some issues, the people who visit and live near the lakes must be the ones who make the on-the-ground difference we need.
You can help the lakes from the comfort of your community. Here's how:
1. Enjoy the Lakes responsibly
You show your love for the Lakes by roaming their parks, hiking their trails, swimming their waters and visiting their cities.
While you're out enjoying and loving the Great Lakes, always enjoy them responsibly by leaving nothing in the Lake or on the beach but your footprints in the sand. Be careful not to dump cigarette butts, cans and other waste into the Lakes; this litter ends up on local beaches, endangering the health of tourists, residents and wildlife up and down our coasts.
Learn more with the Healthy Beaches Action Guide.
2. Share the love
You love hiking the sandy dunes. You love the chill that runs up your spine the first time you dip your toe in Lake Superior's bright blue cold waters. You love city skyline reflections in Lake Michigan's still waters. You love family picnics, solitary fishing expeditions and romantic walks along the beach.
It's time to take your love for the Lakes to the next level by helping others fall in love with them, too. Invite others to see and enjoy the Lakes for themselves. Take a friend, child or community group out to the lakes with you. Share a picnic on the beach. Hike the dunes with a friend. Camp, fish, boat, skip rocks and make memories.
The more people who know about and enjoy the Lakes, the better we can protect them.
You can also share your love for the Great Lakes by volunteering your time to help keep them Great. No matter where you live in the region, there are plenty of ways to get involved. Here are some orginizations that can help get you started: