lundi 7 janvier 2013

Great Lakes Environmental Assessment & Mapping Project

"Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land." 
~ Aldo Leopold

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.” 
~ Edward Abbey

It's "Day 37" of President Obama's second term. The next four years are crucial in the fight against climate disruption. Let The White House know what President Obama can do right now to respond to the climate threat and protect national treasures, such as the Great Lakes.

Lakes Michigan, Huron sink to lowest level ever
Governor expected to call Thursday for $11M to dredge harbors

Jim Lynch
February 2, 2013

Detroit News 

In the nearly 100 years researchers have catalogued the rise and fall of the Great Lakes, Michigan and Huron have never seen a month like January.

The two-lake system recorded its lowest-ever level for a month, a mean of 576.02 feet above sea level. It's a number that dips below the all-time low for January — 576.12 feet — as well as the all-time low for any month, 576.05 feet in March 1964.

For those who live along or play in the waters of the Great Lakes, the news is disturbing but unsurprising. Each of the lakes has lingered below its long-term averages for years as the region endured drought-like conditions. When the 2011-12 winter produced less-than-expected snowfall and the ensuing spring produced little rainfall, the seeds were sown for records.

Low lakes have meant recreational watercraft running aground, shorelines and beaches expanding as the lakes recede, changing fish habitats and forcing shipping vessels to drastically reduce the tonnage they carry. MORE >>>

"Learning never exhausts the mind." 
~ Leonardo Da Vinci

Welcome to the Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping (GLEAM) Project!

Our research team builds new tools to integrate spatial information for environmental management decisions in the Great Lakes.  We aim to build maps to visualize and understand environmental impacts (or stressors) on the lakes and benefits humans enjoy from the lakes (or ecosystem services).  For example, we developed this high resolution map of cumulative ecosystem stress to guide restoration, conservation, and management efforts. This map merges data for all major categories of environmental stressors to the Great Lakes, ranging from climate change to pollution to invasive species.  We invite you to explore this interactive map using the pan and zoom tools in the upper left corner, and to browse all of the other information and maps on our site.

How Climate Change Is Damaging The Great Lakes, With Implications For The Environment And The Economy
Climate Progress

The impact climate change has on the five lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario) will have serious implications for aquatic life, as well as high economic costs for communities.
  • The Great Lakes stretch from Minnesota to New York. They account for over 80 percent of North America’s surface freshwater, and provide drinking water to 40 million U.S. and Canadian citizens.
  • Many industries in the region that depend on trade through the lakes will face navigation challenges, and will have to reduce the amount of cargo carried.
  • Tourism and recreational activities that are vital to coastal communities will surely feel the negative economic effects. Activity associated with recreational fishing alone is estimated to be at least $7 billion annually.
  • Infrastructure investments will need to occur, as the necessity for extending docks and dredging increases.
  • And the habitats of fish, birds, and other mammals will be altered.
The two maps below developed by the Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping project (GLEAM) illustrate the severity of the environmental impacts on the lakes, as well as the warming temperature of the lakes.

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