There has been much to celebrate in the story of Lake Michigan's comeback. Considered a virtual desert" to anglers as late as 1965, Lake Michigan suddenly became the object of
“coho madness" by the late 1960s, feeding a booming tourist industry. Thousands flocked into the Ludington area after the Michigan Department of Natural Resources introduced salmon into the big lakes. By the early eighties, I saw a lake whose appalling deterioration had sparked widespread public outrage in the matter of a few short years begin to clean itself up -with human help. Limitations on phosphorus in detergents, bans on toxic chemicals like DDT and PCBs, and other decisive actions demanded by the public and enforced by public agencies made a dramatic difference.
My hope is that we will not forget the lessons of three critical decades -the 1960s to the 1980s- when science based information, an ethic of concern for our shared environment and progressive bipartisan politics arrested and reversed a century of Great Lakes deterioration.
This volume, cataloguing and analyzing the current science on the state of Lake Michigan, is an important part of that remembrance. It carries forward the singular contribution that the binational Great Lakes scientific community has made not only to restoring the Great Lakes, but also to the world's body of knowledge about large lake ecology, the long range transport of pollutants, and the importance of habitat in assuring ecosystem health. It is a valuable addition to the Great Lakes literature.
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