How can we best protect the Great Lakes?
We know the familiar things that need to be done: conservation (of wildlife, habitats, marshlands, sandbanks), reduction (of pollutants, poorly planned developments), and better regulation and management of our industries, international shipping, our waterfronts and watersheds …
Again, those are familiar struggles, and we have extraordinary people fighting for those things every day: groups like Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, the Bay Area Restoration Council, the Canada Centre for Inland Waters, the Great Lakes Commons, the Great Lakes Observing System, the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, the Alliance for the Great Lakes, the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, the Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping Project… to name just a few!
The Great Lakes Trust is designed to support advocates and researchers, activists and artists, in just these kinds of organizations, funding those small but vital steps to improve our home waters.
But one of the things we love about Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and their Watermark project project is the importance of our imagination. (The Great Lakes Commons is in tune with this also, as are many others, in their distinctive ways.)
The point is this: we can fight all of the familiar battles, against pollution and shortsighted planning, but if we cannot get people to imagine the lakes as a vital part of their lives, then those other battles are ultimately for naught.
So, what adventures can we have that will help make the Great Lakes a part of our inspiration? a part of the vocabulary we instinctively use when we answer the question: “what nutty adventure do have planned next?”
This Friday and Saturday, a small band of crazy swimmers will bundle into a rented Honda Odyssey, and then we’ll swim a mile in each of the Great Lakes over twenty four hours.
Five Miles, Five Lakes, One Day.
We’re doing it because we love the lakes and because, maybe, small adventures like this one can encourage others to see the vast, wonderful heritage we share in these lakes, and to imagine their own adventures in, on, and around the Lakes.
The more we get out and have fun on the Lakes, the more they become a part of our shared sense of who we are, together. And then, hopefully, we’ll all care even more deeply about tackling the many serious problems we face in sustaining this vital heritage.
5 Miles in 5 Great Lakes in 24 Hours
depart Oakville 09/23 @ 20:00
Lake Superior @ Brimley, Mi 09/24 @ 04:00
Lake Michigan @ Mackinaw City, MI 9/24 @ 06:30
Lake Huron @ Brights Grove, ON 9/24 @ 12:30
Lake Erie @ Port Stanley, ON 9/24 @ 15:00
Lake Ontario @ Oakville, ON 9/24 @ 18:00
And if this inspires you and your friends to get out and have (another) Great Lakes adventure, then perhaps you could also spread the word about the Great Lakes Trust!