320 pages, 10.31 × 7.94 × 1 in
September 26, 2007
Greystone Books Ltd.
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1553651979
ISBN - 13: 9781553651970
About the Book
Ever since French explorer Samuel de Champlain’ s first taste of what he called “ la mer douce” — the freshwater sea — the Great Lakes have been admired, exploited, and renewed. This vast region is a study in contrasts: a hub of industry that’ s the resting spot for billions of migrating birds. 40 million residents, immense untamed forests. 95 percent of North America’ s fresh water and a dumping ground for poisonous wastes." The Great Lakes" is an authoritative, accessible look at an ecosystem in eternal flux. Written by one of North America’ s most acclaimed science and nature writers, the book explores the area’ s geological formation and its role in human history; its diverse plant, bird, and animal species; and its significant physical, climatic, and environmental features. This captivating tribute to the Great Lakes region is also an essential guide to the challenge of preserving the natural world.
Table of Contents
1 The Freshwater Seas
An introduction to the Great Lakes by a native son: author Wayne Grady was born in Windsor, Ontario, between Lakes Erie and Huron, and can link his family history to all five of the lakes. Grady sketches evocative portraits of the lakes and describes their distinct characters: their vast surface areas and depths make them, in the words of Samuel de Champlain, true "freshwater seas," with many of the properties normally associated with oceans. He also describes the surrounding drainage basins, diverse terrains that cover an area larger than France and serve as home to almost 40 million people and an extraordinary range of plant, animal, and bird life. For all the change that the Great Lakes' basin has experienced, it remains a life-sustaining, complex, and interconnected ecosystem, a region that inspires awe for its natural abundance and respect for its fragility.
2 Foundation Stones
The foundation stones of the Great Lakes are unimaginably old, but the lakes themselves are surprisingly young, assuming their present shapes, levels and water flows just 4000 years ago, around the time the great pyramids were being built in Egypt. They owe their creation to continental drift, repeated glaciations, and isostatic rebound - the slow uplift of land once depressed by glaciers - a process that is still going on today. The geological history of the lakes is still being written.
3 The Boreal Forest
The glacial retreats left three majo
From the Publisher
Ever since French explorer Samuel de Champlain's first taste of what he called "la mer douce"—the freshwater sea—the Great Lakes have been admired, exploited, and renewed. This vast region is a study in contrasts: a hub of industry that's the resting spot for billions of migrating birds. 40 million residents, immense untamed forests. Ninety-five percent of North America's fresh water and a dumping ground for poisonous wastes. The Great Lakes is an authoritative, accessible look at an ecosystem in eternal flux. Written by one of North America's most acclaimed science and nature writers, the book explores the area's geological formation and its role in human history; its diverse plant, bird, and animal species; and its significant physical, climatic, and environmental features. This captivating tribute to the Great Lakes region is also an essential guide to the challenge of preserving the natural world.
Published in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation. Also available in paperback.
About the Author
Wayne Grady is one of Canada's finest science writers and a Governor General's Award-winning translator. He has authored eleven books of nonfiction, translated fourteen novels, and edited more than a dozen anthologies of short stories and creative nonfiction.
The Great Lakes not only includes a terrific range of information but also, I think, inspires the aspiring bioregionalist-reader to look and think more closely at the relationships between everyday encounters with local flora and fauna…the best parts of the book allow us to catch a glimpse of the rich ecological relations of the watershed, and to consider our everyday actions in light of their inevitable impacts on the water, soil, plants and other animals that compromise the Great lakes – and theirs on usAssociation for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada""...he tantalizes you with a fact that is so intriguing that you really want to keep reading to discover more. For example, did you know that the beaver is the only mammal whose growth is indeterminate? They just keep growing!""Great Lakes For AllA beautifully designed, comprehensive gem of a guide to the ecosystem at the heart of Canada.”The TyeeGrady does a stellar job explaining how every creature from monarch butterflies… to Toronto’s skunks… to the frogs of the boreal forest… play out their chimerical or smelly roles in this vast and layered natural drama. …Threats to the Lakes’ integrity are increasingly met with resistance. If the written work is still meaningful in advancing this crucial resistance, this challenging book should be sent into battle immediately, and given a place on the front lines.”Globe and Mail…Grady writes compellingly about the rocks, forests and creatures of the lakes, as well as the