Video instructions and help with filling out and completing 8850 Form Regions

Instructions and Help about 8850 Form Regions

Music what's so great about the Great Lakes they're known as America's inland seas the North American Great Lakes Huron Ontario Michigan Erie and superior are so massive that they border eight states and contain 23 quadrillion litres of water that's enough to cover the land area of the contiguous United States three meters deep these vast bodies of water spanned forests grassland and wetland habitats supporting a region that's home to over 3,500 species but how did such a vast and unique geological feature come to be the story begins near the end of the last ice age over ten thousand years ago a time when the climate was warming and the glaciers that cloaked the Earth's surface began their slow retrieved these immense ice sheets carved out a series of basins those basins filled with water as the ice began to melt creating the world's largest area of freshwater lakes over time channels developed between these basins and water began to flow in an ongoing exchange that persists to this day in fact today the interconnected Great Lakes contain almost 20% of the world's supply of fresh surface water the waters journey begins in the far north of Lake Superior which is the deepest coldest and clearest of the lakes containing half the system's water Lake Superior sinks to depths of 406 metres creating a unique and diverse ecosystem that includes more than 80 fish species a given drop of water spends on average 200 years in this lake before flowing into Lake Michigan or Lake Huron linked by the straits of mackinac these two lakes are technically one to the west lies Lake Michigan the third largest of the lakes by surface area water slowly moves through its cul-de-sac shape and encounters the world's largest freshwater dunes many wildlife species and unique fossilized coral to the east is Lake Huron which has the longest shoreline it's sparsely populated but heavily forested including seven thousand year old petrified trees below them water continues to flow south eastwards from Lake Huron into Lake Erie this lake status as the warmest and shallowest of the five has ensured an abundance of animal life including millions of migrating birds finally the water reaches its last stop by dramatically plunging more than 50 meters down the thundering Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario the smallest lake by surface area from there some of this well-traveled water enters the st. Lawrence River eventually reaching the Atlantic Ocean in addition to being a natural wonder the perpetually flowing Great Lakes bring us multiple benefits they provide natural water filtration flood control and nutrient cycling by moving water across more than 3200 kilometers the Great Lakes also provide drinking water for upward of 40 million people and 212 billion liters a day for the industries and farms that line their banks but our dependence on the system is having a range of negative impacts to the Great Lakes coastal habitats are being degraded and increasingly populated exposing the once pristine waters to industrial urban and agricultural pollutants because less than 1% of the water leaves the lake system annually decades-old pollutants still lurk in its waters humans have also inadvertently introduced more than 100 non-native and invasive species into the lakes such as zebra and quagga mussels and sea lampreys that have decimated some indigenous fish populations on a larger scale climate change is causing the waters too warm thus reducing water levels and changing the distribution of aquatic life luckily in recent years governments have started to recognize the immense value of this natural resource partnerships between the United States and Canada are underway to reduce pollution protect coastal habitats and halt the spread of invasive species protecting something as massive as the Great Lakes system will require the collaboration of many organizations but the effort is critical if we can preserve the wonder of this flowing Inland Sea Oh Music you