Learners will discover individual and collective responsibility for maintaining the health of the Great Lakes Basin.
Two to Three Forty-Five Minute Class Periods
The learner will:
- analyze content of the reading book, A River Ran Wild.
- apply knowledge gained from the reading to the Great Lakes.
- identify citizen responsibility for the Great Lakes Basin.
- develop concept of community capital as applied to Great Lakes Basin.
- identify reasons for maintaining water quality.
- demonstrate use of vocabulary associated with water quality.
- locate his/her nearest river, pond, lake, reservoir.
|Subject:||Kit includes a pamphlet on "What the IJC is and how it works," a bibliography of IJC reports under the Agreement, a brochure on toxic substances and on the Remedial Action Plan program, posters on "Our Fragile Ecosystem" and on RAPs, Water Quality and Water Quantity.|
Due to the technical nature of the content on water quality and the Great Lakes Basin, it is highly recommended that the instructor use the following websites to become familiarized with the content to be developed with the learners.
- Great Lakes Sea Grant Network
This Web site will help the instructor to become familiar with the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Also found here are excellent articles on the introduction of non-indigenous species introduced into the lakes such as the zebra mussel.
- Environment Canada [Ontario] Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
To review the history of pollution in the Great Lakes Basin and what is currently being done about it. This Canadian site has multiple references.
- www.nationalgeographic.com/mapmachine This Web site is an excellent source for downloadable maps for student use. Obtain from your local library, media center or Public Broadcasting System the VHS produced by Outside Television entitled, "The Hudson Riverkeepers" by Robert Kennedy et al. (1998).
- U.S. Geological Survey
Source for water glossary terms (http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/glos.html) , activities, maps, etc.
Use a large map that shows the Great Lakes. Ask the learners why these lakes are so important and make a list of the responses. Ask the learners if they know the definitions or give examples of pollution and conservation and how they can relate these terms to what they already know about our lakes, rivers and streams. Read and discuss Attachment Two: Fishing for Facts, as a class. Tell them that the true story they are about to read will describe how a once great, clean river became polluted and how Marion Stoddard and others practicing philanthropy helped save the river.
Take-home sheet is included as Attachment One: Guided Practice to be completed if needed at home. If completed at home, check for accuracy and show to parents.
Cheery, Lynne. A River Ran Wild. An Environmental History (A Reading Rainbow Book). Harcourt. ISBN: 152005420
National Geographic's Map Machine
Great Lakes Sea Grant Network
Environment Canada [Ontario] Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
Kennedy, Robert et al. Outside Television: "The Hudson Riverkeepers." Outside Television Producers, 1998. Available at: www.PBS.org.
Lesson Developed By:Christine Jensen
Directions: Put an "X" in front of the best answer.
|Michigan and Ohio||New Hampshire and Maryland|
|Florida and Georgia||Massachusetts and New Hampshire|
|A Fiction book||A Non-fiction book|
What did Marie Stoddard do to help the river?
Describe Marie with just one of our philanthropy words.
Water is the most common substance on Earth. It is found as ground water, in oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, ponds and streams. There are two forms of water. The water found in the seas and oceans has salt. Lake, river, stream and pond water has no salt. There is one exception. Estuaries, where ocean meets fresh water have both salt and fresh water. When tides come in, the water is saltier and when tides go out, there is less salt in the water.
Water pollution is one of our greatest environmental problems. Our waterways are not as clean as they should be. Our water worldwide has become polluted because of pesticides and other chemicals running off the land into our water. Sometimes people and industry pollute accidentally but sometimes this dumping is done purposefully. In our area of the United States and the nation of Canada we depend on the Great Lakes and the waterways, rivers, smaller lakes, streams and underground water supply. We need clean water for our homes, schools, recreation, transportation, business and industry. The Great Lakes and all the surrounding land are called the Great Lakes Basin.
Many of us have learned the names of the Great Lakes by using the word HOMES. Each letter stands for a Great Lake: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.
Today we know that chemicals like PCB hurt the fish and birds. Fish like perch and walleye developed tumors. Salmon and trout had so much of the chemicals in them that people are still warned not to eat too much of these sport fish from the Great Lakes. The bald eagle became an endangered species because they ate fish containing the pesticides.
The shells of their eggs became weak and their young did not hatch. Because of efforts to stop poaching, reducing chemicals in the water and protecting nesting sites, the eagle has been restored and is now protected, not endangered. However, there are new threats. Ships going through the St. Lawrence Seaway brought unwanted species that hurt native species. The lamprey eel, sculpin fish and zebra mussels are three of these unwanted and harmful species.
Because citizens became alarmed and took voluntary action for the common good, many organizations and conservation clubs were formed. Conservation is the way we attempt to manage, use wisely and protect our natural resources. Businesses, industry and governments also saw the need to stop pollution and they also took action. The United States government now has the Environmental Protection Agency. Canada and the United States have a Joint Commission to protect the Great Lakes. Each state that shares one of the Great Lakes has a Department of Environmental Quality. Grassroots service movements have been formed in communities to monitor and protect our Great Lakes Basin. Yearly river cleanups like the Rouge River Project involve youth and community volunteers to restore this once great river. Youth take active roles in letter writing campaigns, water quality testing, and other service projects to insure the health of the water. They are making a difference by preserving this heritage for the future.
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