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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Michigan Endangered Species

Well, this doesn't relate to raw food in Michigan, but in a way it kind of does. Raw/living foodists, vegans, vegetarians tend to care about the environment as well.I was at the Detroit Science Center (http://www.detroitsciencecenter.org/home.htm) and saw Mysteries of The Great Lakes (http://www.detroitsciencecenter.org/theaters/IMAX.htm) on the IMAX. While it talked about other species that were endangered, it focused on the Sturgeon. It's almost completely extinct. A fish that has survived for such a long time, and we have now managed to almost completely destroy. Amazingly enough, when people settled in Michigan they killed these fish just because they were ugly! Now suddenly people care. For more on the Sturgeon and other endangered fish and plants: http://www.glsc.usgs.gov/main.php?content=research_sturgeon&title=Fish%20at%20Risk0&menu=research_risk_fish

It's just amazing to me what we have done to this state. Don't even get me started on importing trash from Canada.(http://stabenow.senate.gov/stoptrash/faq.htm)

I guess I should just be happy that people are FINALLY starting to care. Better late than never I suppose. I'm so sick of people in Michigan just sitting around and complaining about things and not DOING anything. I hear it all the time. We have (or HAD probably now) one of the richest counties in the country (Oakland County) and I'd dare say one of the laziest. Anyone who would like to challenge me on this, I'd love to know what Oakland County has done to help the state of Michigan. Please, I'd love to find out I'm wrong on this!

Maybe raw food could bring new economic help to this state- raw food restaurants, products, etc. I'm excited for the film industry to come here, but we need to do other things as well.

One thing I know is that it will not change by sitting around doing nothing!


Get educated on the issues of this state- from the Detroit Zoo possibly closing, to the problems with the mayor, economy, trash, and the pollution of the Great Lakes.

Than DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

http://www.greatlakesforever.org/html/meetlakes/fanfacts.html

http://www.wecansavethegreatlakes.com/

http://www.cleanwateraction.org/mi/Save.htm
http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12141_12168---,00.html
http://www.turnmichiganaround.com/

This state is worth helping, and worth saving!
  • The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world, stretching more than 90 thousand square miles and covering an area larger than Minnesota or New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island combined.

  • Recognizing the Great Lakes’ great size and the important role they have played as the transportation hub of eastern North America, sailors and landlubbers alike have alternatively christened the Lakes the “sweet water” and “inland seas,” and “America’s fourth sea coast.”

  • The Great Lakes are an international treasure, containing 18% of the entire world’s fresh surface water supply.


  • Each year, nearly 157 billion gallons of water is permanently lost from the Great Lakes drainage basin (the surrounding land and waterways that drain water to the Lakes). That’s more than 4,000 gallons for every one of the basin's 37 million residents! As shocking as current withdrawal levels may seem, they’re but a fraction of what we could soon lose. Everyone who lives in the Great Lakes drainage basin relies on the Lakes for their drinking water. Twenty-six million residents use water withdrawn directly from the Lakes, while 11 million intercept Great Lakes groundwater as it drains to basin tributaries and the Lakes themselves. With demand for fresh water increasing across the country and the world, special interests are pushing to actually buy and sell Great Lakes water for a profit.Read more about Great Lakes water supply.

  • Although Lake Superior is the most remote of the Great Lakes, it is far from immune to the threats of pollution we commonly associate with the more populous and developed Lakes Michigan, Erie and Ontario. Lake Superior, because of it’s large surface area, is particularly susceptible to airborne pollution, including mercury-laden smoke from coal-burning power plants and agricultural pesticides carried by winds from places as distant as Georgia and other southeastern states. This problem is exacerbated by Lake Superior’s long retention time (how long a drop of water stays in Lake Superior before flowing on to Lakes Michigan and Huron). While Lake Superior currently has lower levels of mercury, PCBs and other toxics harmful to wildlife and human health than any other Great Lake, it “holds on” to dissolved pollutants for a longer period, allowing them to build to much higher concentrations. Read more about Great Lakes water quality.

  • Of all the Great Lakes, Lake Erie is the most susceptible to eutrophication and the presence of “dead zones”. Due to the heavy urbanization and agricultural use of its surrounding lands, Lake Erie is bombarded by massive amounts of untreated sewage dumping from cities and livestock facilities, as well as polluted runoff contaminated by failing septic systems, excess lawn fertilizers and pet feces. This increased organic matter and the abundance of light in Erie’s shallow depths encourages rapid plant growth. Once those plants die and begin decomposing, they use up all available oxygen. The result is “dead zone” where little if any life can survive. Read more about Great Lakes water quality..

  • Today’s commercial fishery harvest of 63 million pounds may seem large, but peak harvests were achieved in the late 19th century at 147 million pounds! Initial harvest declines were largely due to over fishing, but habitat destruction and invasive species are the greatest challenges of today.

  • More than two-thirds of Great Lakes fish species spawn in wetlands, and many rely on near shore vegetation for food and shelter. Wide-spread alteration and destruction of these habitats – including 75% of Great Lakes shoreline and 2/3 of the region’s wetlands – harms native fish. Read more about habitat protection.

  • Since the 1800s, more than 160 aquatic invasive species have become established in the Great Lakes. These invaders include the sea lamprey, zebra mussel, round goby, quagga mussel and spiny water flea, and often infiltrate the Great Lakes via shipping canals and transoceanic vessels. Invasive species threaten the survival of our native fish, wildlife and plants and upset the balance of the Great Lakes ecosystem. The effects of such invasives can be drastic, as in the early 1900s when the sea lamprey was first introduced to the upper four Great Lakes. Within roughly 20 years, Lake Michigan’s lake trout population had declined by 95%, a loss from which it has not yet recovered today. Read more about Great Lakes invasive species.

  • Today, the greatest source of invasive species - such as the zebra mussel and spiny water flea - in the Lakes is ship ballast water. Cargo ships that carry millions of tons of goods to and from Great Lakes ports every year rely on “ballast water” to help stabilize their ships on the seas. When these ships pick up new cargo, they can dump tens of thousands of gallons of ballast water – often taken from distant seas – into the Great Lakes.

  • In 2002, 23% of Great Lakes beaches were closed for at least a day – and 14% were closed for more than 9 days – to prevent the spread of waterborne disease. Bacterial and viral pathogens are introduced to the Great Lakes from overflowing sewage plants and polluted runoff from our yards, streets and farms. Read more about Great Lakes water quality.
  • *From: http://www.greatlakesforever.org/html/meetlakes/fanfacts.html



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