The Great Lakes — Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Erie — make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth, accounting for one-fifth of the freshwater surface. I cannot think of a better place for that water. I revere, love, honor, sometimes fear, no, deeply respect those waters. Unfortunately, there are many who do not believe as I do.
By volume Lake Michigan is around 1,180 cubic miles / 4,920 cubic km. That sounds like a lot. If you’ve ever crossed it in a boat, say a 30 foot sailboat at night in moderate 5-7 foot seas, you will appreciate it’s enormity. However, and it is a big however, it is a a little cul de sac of a Lake, the water outlets are at the top of the lake in the Straights of Mackinaw where she flows into what is hydrologically considered as one with her, conjoined twin, Lake Huron. It takes 99 years for for the water in Lake Michigan to be replaced. If we pollute her it stays around for our children, our children’s children and their children. We must be ever vigilant.
Lake Michigan is alive with kinetic energy; she has calm glassy days, small lunar tides, occasional seiches*, and horrific killing sprees of 20 foot waves. Her restlessness erodes then builds up only to chew away again at her sandy beaches and dunes.
See the dune in the distance? It is part of a private association of homes in the city of Mona Shores. The last time The Lake was high the EPA laws were quite lax and after watching other summer homes fall into The Lake, someone built a cheap retaining wall of free, spent tires. Last summer those old, spent tires washed up on our city beaches in droves.
My spouse and I picked up several as did the city’s seasonal workers. We were all mystified as to their source. One day I backtracked the winds and waves of a gale until I found the source. That long ago homeowner’s ugly problem was now our problem.
There is a new administration in America that does not care for the Earth or the future of her children, human or otherwise. As a result of slashed funding for the EPA and other beneficial budgetary items there has been a flurry of delighted and money grubbing short sighted activity along The Lake that will do more harm than good. It breaks my heart.
EDIT: I found the photo of the source of the tires. https://dunelight.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/the-garbage-reached-across-the-state/