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Let's Talk Great Lakes Resources

Pier on one of the Great Lakes

Discover a set of resources designed to give you good background knowledge on all things Great Lakes!

The Great Lakes are five lakes in North America that are all freshwater lakes. This freshwater makes up 20 per cent of the world’s surface freshwater.

Four of these lakes are located in Ontario Canada: Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and Lake Superior. Lake Michigan is the only great lake that is entirely in the United States of America. These lakes are extremely important for aquatic life, ecosystems, drinking water, irrigation, as well as transportation. Invasive species, pollution, habitat destruction, as well as climate change are having significant impacts on these lakes.

Let's Talk Great Lakes aims to highlight these issues, potential career opportunities associated with the Great Lakes, as well as to give hands-on opportunities to high school students in the aquatic and terrestrial fieldwork that is performed in and around these lakes.

Below are a set of resources from Let's Talk Science touching on all aspects of Let's Talk Great Lakes:

Invasive Species

 A forest damaged by pine beetles

How Do Introduced Species Affect Ecosystems and the Economy?

When a species ends up outside of its natural zone, the consequences on other species, ecosystems and human industries can be severe. Climate change and human activities can introduce species into new zones.

A beaver looks up from the water. Image © Jillian Cooper,

Canadian Invaders!

Beavers are a Canadian symbol. But in South America, they’re considered an invasive species.

Water Quality

Water treatment plant near Kitchener, Ontario

Water Treatment

Learn about how water is treated at municipal water treatment plants.

Mussels on a rocky coastline

Using Mussels to Monitor the Environment

Mussels are a kind of invertebrate that filter food out of the water they live in. This makes them a great tool for monitoring environmental water quality and tracking bioaccumulation in aquatic food webs.

What are the best materials to use for cleaning water?

What are the best materials to use for cleaning water?

Water is a precious natural resource. What happens if it gets polluted? Learn how water can be cleaned with this hands-on activity?


Pond in a valley

Introduction to Lakes & Ponds

Learn about the geology, chemistry and ecology of lakes and ponds.

Boat on a lake at sunset

Humans and Freshwater Ecosystems

Learn about how people impact the ecosystems of lakes and rivers.

Massive algal bloom

Eutrophication: Why you should care about pond scum

When fertilizers from agriculture get into lakes and rivers, big problems can result for aquatic ecosystems, food chains & webs!

Climate Change

Our climate is changing

Introduction to Climate Change

Learn more about the causes and impacts of global climate change.

Hamilton, Ontario industrial area with Toronto skyline in the background

What are Greenhouse Gases?

This backgrounder explains what greenhouse gases are and how they contribute to climate change.

Green chemistry industry icon

Green Chemistry 101

Green chemistry is a field that looks at the sustainability of products and processes designed by people.


Scientist testing water samples

Careers in the Great Outdoors

Students explore careers related to outdoors and the land and then design and build a water filter prototype.

Measuring Changes To A Glacier

Careers: Climatologist

5 images of some work related to the scientific study of climate such as using instruments to measure changes in climates