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One of the most compelling stories of ecology I've read! The Great Lakes are my favorite region, so this is certainly a biased review, but Dan Egan has done an excellent job threading together the various threats our region faces, the institutions responsible for engineering shortcuts into these waterways, and the impacts of each invasive species shaking these once secure ecosystems to their cores.
On top of that, he does a swell job weaving together anecdotes of Mormon pirate kings taking over islands, commercial fisherman who depended on the lakes for their livelihoods, and the desperate attempts made by clever characters to fight back against sea lampreys. Absolutely worth a read if you're interested in history, geology, ecology, or the security of your freshwater access.
Extremely well researched and written book about the history to present day of the the Great Lakes. The author achieved his goal of making technical info very understandable and readable for a person who has little knowledge on this subject and area of the US. If anyone ever doubts the disastrous effects humans can have on the planet, there is plenty of evidence here. Money generally wins over intelligence. Climate change seems very real and likely man made, at least in part. Can we trust humans to solve the climate change issue? I doubt we can get it "right" but this book gives hope to the positive effects of at least trying.
I grew up west of Milwaukee and noted direction as toward or away from "the lake". Over the years I recall the dead alewife on the shores, and the late '90's big dip in lake level. Door County shoreline exposed hundreds of feet of dry land, far from the piers lining the lakeside.
I fished with my ex when perch were so plentiful we had to be careful to obey the catch limit.
Egan's book is eye opening to the depth of the issue of clean water and our dependence on it as a nation. He artfully acknowledges the long history of development from man surrounding the lakes and man's control and intent for these waters. No one is immune from the effect of the Great Lake's imbalance. Such skillful writing! Such a wealth of information! A highly recommended read!
This book was a sobering look at the devastating effects of invasive species introduced to the Great Lakes via ship ballast. Mr. Egan's comprehensive research makes for a compelling read. We should all be aware of invasive species and insist that the issues surrounding invasive species remain in the public eye. This should be a required read so that our citizenry can act responsibly.
I finished this book weeks ago and it just will not leave my mind....I wish everyone would read this and reflect on their own behavior.
While there were a few times when the book seemed to drag a little, overall it taught me so many facts about the Great Lakes and the problems they have encountered. In view of the EPA wreaking havoc on our natural resources, I recommend everyone to get and read or listen to a copy of this book. You will understand why we must stand up to anyone who would ignore the lessons learned about the polluting of the Great Lakes, the invasive species, and the man made errors that occurred when attempting to make the Lakes a highway for ocean going freighters.
The saddest thing is that our governments don't appear to have learnt anything.. the writer also writes as if the Great Lakes belong to just them. This book would, could, should, be required reading for all members of government who deal with the watersheds and lakes. It would be of great benefit to us all.
This book, for me, was mind blowing. How about highschool students mandatory reading and discussion as well?
People need to remember that our environment is the most important issue when they vote this fall.
For a second consecutive year, President Donald Trump is trying to drastically reduce or eliminate federal support of cleanups for iconic U.S. waterways including the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay.
Trump’s proposed 2019 budget for the Environmental Protection Agency cuts funding by 90 percent for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative — an Obama-era plan for dealing with pervasive pollution in the world’s biggest surface freshwater system — and a similar program for Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary.
Incredible story and wake up call to the challenges facing our water systems.
A 'Milwaukee Sentinel Journal' reporter with years covering the Great Lakes writes a readable history of unintended consequences that have spread invasive species into watersheds all over the country.
Egan brings history to life. Alewives, zebra mussels, Asiatic carp have all made and continue to make news. I’ve known of the infamous reversal of the Chicago River, but had not read of how it and the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway have had dire consequences for the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. So many conflicting priorities, so many consequences. Essential reading for Great Lakes lovers to gain more knowledge and perspective. Well done.
I had no idea of the ecological struggles within the waters of the Great Lakes. Shocking story
of invasive species and the destruction of an ecosystem.