The Late, Great Lakes: An Environmental History

Overview

The Late, Great Lakes is a powerful indictment of man's carelessness, ignorance, and apathy toward the Great Lakes. With the longest continuous coastline in the United States, they hold one-fifth of the world's freshwater supply. Author William Ashworth presents a compelling history of the Great Lakes, from their formation in the Ice Age, to their "discovery" by Samuel de Champlian in 1615, and, finally, to their impending death in our time. Ashworth systematically deals with the wild life that once flourished in...
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The Late, Great Lakes is a powerful indictment of man's carelessness, ignorance, and apathy toward the Great Lakes. With the longest continuous coastline in the United States, ... they hold one-fifth of the world's freshwater supply. Author William Ashworth presents a compelling history of the Great Lakes, from their formation in the Ice Age, to their "discovery" by Samuel de Champlian in 1615, and, finally, to their impending death in our time. Ashworth systematically deals with the wild life that once flourished in the region—beaver, salmon, whitefish, and trout—and describes the threatening elements which have displaced them—the predatory sea lamprey, the alewives, toxic waste, and volatile solids. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The Late, Great Lakes is a powerful indictment of man's carelessness, ignorance, and apathy toward the Great Lakes. With the longest continuous coastline in the United States, they hold one-fifth of the world's freshwater supply. Author William Ashworth presents a compelling history of the Great Lakes, from their formation in the Ice Age, to their "discovery" by Samuel de Champlian in 1615, and, finally, to their impending death in our time. Ashworth systematically deals with the wild life that once flourished in the region—beaver, salmon, whitefish, and trout—and describes the threatening elements which have displaced them—the predatory sea lamprey, the alewives, toxic waste, and volatile solids.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Great Lakes have always had an economy based on resource extraction, notes Ashworth, author of Nor Any Drop to Drink. First it was furs, followed by lumbering, minerals and heavy industry. Since the beginning of settlement the lakes have been polluted by sewage, garbage and runoff wastes; more recently, ship traffic and canals have played havoc with native fish and shoreline stability. Two geographic features compound pollution problems: the lakes' vast size and poor development of the region's drainage system. As Ashworth explores the North Coast, our longest shoreline, he lucidly explains its fragility in terms of its geologic youth and traces the coast's history from early exploration to modern times. He discusses microcontamination from dumps, beach erosion, superships, acid rain, puts forth a proposal for diverting lake water to the Great Plains. Ashworth makes a powerful statement that should be required reading for anyone interested in the environment. (May 15)
Library Journal
This compact natural history of the Great Lakes region is really a passion ate plea for an awakening to the crises faced by the lakes and surrounding land. Geologically recent, the Great Lakes were formed by the huge glaciers that pushed south through Canada, pe riodically, during the Pleistocene ep och. Ashworth tells the lakes' story with clarity and urgency. He details the destruction of the naturalness of the re gion, from the clear cutting of the for ests to the loss of most of the fish. To day the threat is greater than ever, from such things as industrial toxins, acid rain, and proposed diversion of water to the arid Southwest. Ashworth is puz zled by the apparent apathy of the peo ple living around the water, as if it will always be there. From his deeply felt account, all can see the folly of such thinking. Highly recommended. Ran dy Dykhuis, Grace A. Dow Memorial Lib., Midland, Mich.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814318874
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1987
  • Series: Great Lakes Books Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

William Ashworth, one of our leading writers on environmental subjects, is the author of several books on water-resource politics and the American water crisis, including Nor Any Drop to Drink (1982). Mr. Ashworth lives in Ashland, Oregon, and in 1982 received the first annual Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Oregon chapter of the Sierra Club.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2001

    GREAT LAKES POLLUTION

    IN my opinion its getting worst in pollution near or in great lakes and if it didnt get stop in future we will be responsible for the desaster for our childrens and thier coming childrens so it should be stop for the rerlief for peoples living near by

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