Carol Evans's Reviews > The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan
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it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, science

I was actually at Lakeside Chautauqua on Lake Erie for a week earlier this summer. I’ve lived in Ohio most of my life and even if we don’t go up to Lake Erie often, it’s still part of our state identity, if that makes sense, which is why The Death and Life of the Great Lakes caught my attention. It’s an interesting book and an easy read, even for a non-history, non-science girl like me. We all know that humans affect the environment, but found it really interesting how a lot of the problems the lakes experience now can really be traced back to the 1800s when the lakes were first opened to the Atlantic Ocean and the Chicago River and onto the Mississippi.

Egan does a wonderful job of combining history and science in relating all the lakes have been through and why. He also includes individual’s stories, about what the lake was like when they were young versus today, or how they thought/think that the choices they made were in the best interest of the communities.

The last bit was especially interesting looking forward. In that section, Egan’s not talking about the fish or mussels or seaweed, he’s talking about the actual water. The Great Lakes account for 21% of the world’s surface freshwater and about 84% of North America’s. Many people think that the next set of wars will not be over oil but over water. Recently even places as far away as Atlanta have been eyeing the Great Lakes’ water to supplement their own supplies. At the moment, with few exceptions, a county needs to be in the Great Lake basin to utilize the Great Lakes as a source of water, but in the future who knows.

I won’t remember many of the details Egan supplied, but I will remember his general points. I would definitely recommend The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, especially for those of us with a connection to the lakes, which is pretty much all of us, one way or another.
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Reading Progress

January 4, 2018 – Shelved
January 4, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read-not-owned
July 16, 2018 – Started Reading
July 21, 2018 – Finished Reading
July 24, 2018 – Shelved as: non-fiction
July 24, 2018 – Shelved as: science

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