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How Well Do You Know Your Great Lakes?

Conservation Authorities strongly support Ontario's Great Lakes Strategy which recognizes important connections between the Lakes and the contributing watersheds. The Strategy also supports the protection of Great Lakes ecosystems and their functions including surface and ground water quality and quantity, habitat and species, and consideration of climate change. Protecting the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River and their watersheds is the responsibility of all of us because what happens upstream can impact conditions downstream. To learn more, we encourage you to use our new Great Lakes Interactive Education Tool learn about the following:

Natural Features and Functions The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River and their watersheds are made up of forests, wetlands, rivers, lakes, streams, aquifers, moraines, natural areas, plants and animals.

How Water Moves Our drinking water is the same water being recycled through wetlands, lakes, rivers, streams or underground sources (aquifers) which are linked in a watershed through the water cycle. This animation shows you how water moves through the water cycle.

Where is Your Watershed? To understand what a watershed is, it helps to think about your local creek - where does it start? What types of landscapes does it pass through and were does it end up? What kinds of activities keep it healthy or pollute it? All of the area drained by your creek is a watershed.

Benefits of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Rivers, wetlands, moraines, natural ares, forests, insects, fish, plants and wildlife help to recycle and purify the water we drink, absorb the waste we produce, provide us with food, fuel and shelter, moderate our climate, and provide outdoor recreation opportunities which contribute to healthy bodies and minds.

Stressors on the Great Lakes The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River are in trouble. A combination of the impacts from rapid population growth, changing land uses, and climate change upstream are affecting these important resources downstream.

Taking Action We can all impact conditions in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. All levels of government, agencies, community groups, as well as individual landowners and residents can pool our resources and activities to learn about the issues and using science to target our actions.