Pollution in Lake Michigan

Pollution in Lake Michigan

Wetlands present on of the greatest opportunities for conservation exercises in a modern world faced by myriad environmental scares. Inland lakes worldwide are perhaps among the only environmental treasures the world has to protect due to their diversity and environmental importance. In the United States, pollution continues to be a major threat to the integrity of such treasures, which can be protected with the right approaches. The importance of the Great lakes which hold about a fifth of the entire earth’s fresh water cannot be ignored. Pollution concerns of the Great Lakes have been raised by conservationists, inspiring conservation interventions to be designed and carried out. A highlight of the state of pollution, pollutants and conservation interventions at Lake Michigan is made in this discourse. 

Types of Pollution

Lake Michigan has a retention time of about a hundred years, exposing it to several pollution threats. Along the Lake’s basin, several activities take place which further expose the lake to pollution. According to  (Cathy, Emily and Xochi, 1) there are about 362 pollutants that the Great Lakes are exposed to, making Lake Michigan to share in the risks that these pollutants present to the ecosystem. Some of these pollutants include Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Dichlorodiphenyl Trichloroethane (DDT), Organochlorides and Organophosphates which are not only toxic but difficult to eliminate and manage when in voluminous quantities. There are indications that heavy metals form a part of the pollutants presenting a serious concern to the conservation inputs employed in the lake. Other pollutants that have been isolated from Lake Michigan and the in some of the other Great Lakes include alkylated lead furans, methylmercury dieldrin, toxaphene dioxins, hexachlorobenzene mirex, metabolites among other dangerous pollutants that have attracted the attention of conservationists in the Lake (Cathy, Emily and Xochi, 1).

According to the Delta Institute (1), a significant number of other air pollutants also threaten Lake Michigan, making it difficult to control the conservation condition, even if the industrial controls were put under checks. According to the Institute, various air pollutants in form of precipitation and other gaseous particles enter into the Lake in huge volumes that need urgent conservation checks. Some of these airborne pollutants threatening the conservation activities at the Lake include Atrazine, toxaphene, cadmium, mercury and incinerated fossil fuel residues.


Regarding the extent of pollution mitigation and conservation measures that the American authorities and conservationists have implemented towards the protection of the Lake, it is with much relief that promising plans can be identified. Lake Michigan occupies the third slot in size among the five Great Lakes and wholly inside the United States. As such, it presents a bundle of important place among the American community. Its conservation means assurance of continuity to the great reliance that the environment and the people in the United States make on it for various needs. Animal life and agricultural usages are among the most important needs that the Lake serves with a direct impact to life. These are among some of the benefits that the American people have identified to make an informed decision about the conservation effort that the Lake needs before irreparable damage has been done.

Various government and non-governmental agencies have deliberately made specific projects toward the conservation of the Lake possible. Among some of the most vocal conservationists with this regard include the Nature Conservancy (TNC) which has employed updated conservation strategies on Lake Michigan that had previously used in major conservation drives in Lakes Ontario and Huron (Lake Michigan Forum, 1). A group of conservation experts drawn from the best conservation institutes across the United States have been identified for this noble course. Besides the American contingent of conservationists into the project, the Lake Michigan Forum reports that other powerful federal machinery have been sought. The other player slotted into the strategy by the Lake Michigan Forum is the Michigan Natural Features Inventory.        

Specific projects already on the ground by various interagency cooperation plans include eliminating basic pollution regulations implementation plans around the Lake with follow-ups by state and federal authorities being placed under strict watch (GLIN, 1). Some of the individual conservation projects carried out by various agencies on the Lake include those by; Michigan Dune Alliance and Michigan Farmland Protection among others (Conservation Fund, 1).  The Lake Michigan Shorelands Alliance (1) is perhaps another powerful agency that facilitates the conservation input at the Lake, alongside other government and non-governmental agencies at the site. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (1) reports that continued conservation vigilance and enforcement of environmental laws have been strengthened to facilitate a comprehensive conservation drive.

Works Cited

Cathy, Emily & Xochi “The Science of Water Pollution in Lake Michigan,” last updated 20 February 1999. Web. http://www.mrfrere.com/tok/water/science.htm (accessed 15 May 2011)

Delta Institute “Air Toxics Significant Pollution Source of Lake Michigan,” (n.d). Web. http://www.mindfully.org/Air/Air-Toxics-Significant.htm (accessed 15 May 2011)

GLIN “Water Pollution in the Great Lakes,” (n.d). Web. http://www.great-lakes.net/teach/pollution/water/water2.html (accessed 15 May 2011)

The conservation Fund, “On-going Projects,” 2011. Web. http://www.conservationfund.org/midwest/michigan (accessed 15 May 2011) The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, “Lake Michigan Basin,” 2011. Web. http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_30909_31053-153460–,00.html (accessed 15 May

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