Happy World Oceans Day!

Happy World Oceans Day! While Door County does not lie on an ocean, the waters in Lake Michigan and the county are impacted by what goes on in those large bodies of water.

The focus for the 2018 World Oceans Day is preventing plastic pollution. According to a 2016 study by the Rochester Institute of Technology, the US and Canada discard 22 million pounds of plastic in the Great Lakes. The study also revealed that 11 million pounds of that goes into Lake Michigan. While pollution in the oceans if more free-floating and is driven by ocean currents, the plastics in the Lakes are carried by the winds and currents to the shore.

Microplastics in the water have also become a big issue. Fish consume the plastics and it enters the food chain eventually working its way up and into the foods that we consume. Microplastics and fibers can enter the water in a number of ways.

Single use plastics have also become an important topic in the past few months. Single use plastics, bags, microbeads and more have been banned in Kenya (Aug. 2017), Vanuatu (in the process of removing them), the UK, Taiwan (announced 2018, completed by 2030), Zimbabwe (July 2017), Montreal (2018), Malibu (June 2018), Seattle (July 2018), Australia, Canada (Jan. 2018), Hamburg (Feb. 2016), France, New Delhi (2017), Morocco (July 2016), Rwanda (2008), and New York (in the works). This is not a complete list, as more places have banned them or have announced plans to phase out the plastics.

You can visit the World Oceans Day website to learn more about what you can do to help and find more resources.

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The Great Lakes make up 84% of North America’s surface fresh water and about 21% of the world’s supply of surface fresh water.

The Great Lakes water system is the largest inland shipping system in the world.

The only Great Lake entirely within the U.S. is Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan’s shores hold the largest fresh water sand dunes in the world.

The Great Lakes were formed due to glacial movements that caused depressions in the earth that eventually filled with water.

Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are considered one lake hydrologically since they are connected by the Straits of Mackinac.

Although it falls under the category of what we define as a lake, Lake Superior acts more like an inland sea.

There are 9,000-year-old animal-herding structures below Lake Huron.

The Lake Huron shoreline extends 3,827 miles and encompasses 30,000 islands. It is the longest shoreline of the Great Lakes.

The water in Lake Erie is recycled every 2.6 years, the shortest of any Great Lake.


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