About the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes (French: les Grands-Lacs), also called the Laurentian Great Lakes, are a series of interconnected freshwater lakes located primarily in the upper midwest region of North America, on the Canada–United States border, which connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. Consisting of Lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior (Acronym HOMES), they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total area, and second largest by total volume containing 21% of the world’s surface fresh water.

In the United States, the Great Lakes basin comprises parts of the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. In Canada, parts of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec contribute to the Great Lakes basin.

It is estimated that the region’s gross domestic product is USD $5.8 trillion, or roughly 28% of combined U.S. and Canadian economic activity. The region supplies 46 million jobs, or nearly 30% of the combined U.S. and Canadian workforce.

P3GreatLakes has been generously funded by the Great Lakes Protection Fund in part because of the opportunities it presents to reduce peak urban flows, thereby reducing nitrogen and phosphorus loadings into the lakes, as well as demonstrating a new approach to financing and optimizing the performance of distributed green infrastructure.

What’s so great about the great lakes? A TEDed video by Cheri Dobbs & Jennifer Gabrys