Introduction | Background |
Ecology | Economy
Great Lakes Facts | Threats | Lake by Lake Profiles | Tour
Water Volume: 5,500 cubic miles (22,809 cubic km), 90% of U.S. supply, 18% of world supply
Water Surface Area: 95,000 square miles (245,759 square km). Largest surface area of freshwater in the world.
Shoreline Length: 10,210 miles (17,017 km).
Population: 35 million.
Outlets: St. Lawrence River and Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal
Retention Times (amount of time it takes for lakes to get rid of pollutants):
$4 billion sports fishery industry.
250 species of fish.
Provides drinking water for 40 million people. Provides 56 billion gallons of water per day for municipal, agricultural, and industrial use.
Commercial shipping of 200 million tons over 1,270 mile route.
Provides power generation and cooling water.
Produces 90% of iron ore. Also, 58% of automobiles in the U.S. and Canada are manufactured in the Great Lakes basin.
1,000 mile international border.
*Sources: The Great
Lakes: An Environmental Atlas and Resource Book. Available online
through the U.S. EPA web site.