The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

by Dan Egan

About the Book

The Great Lakes hold 20 percent of the world’s supply of surface fresh water, providing drinking water for more than thirty-five million people. They are currently facing an ecological catastrophe. Journalist Dan Egan investigates the lakes and the problems they face from the unforeseen consequences of forcing a connection between waterways, allowing freighters from the Atlantic, and opening a passage from Chicago to the Mississippi. Egan discusses how invasive species like the sea lamprey and zebra mussel have damaged the lakes’ fragile ecosystem and now threaten vital infrastructure. Egan explores the negative effects of the overuse of farm fertilizer, climate change, dredging, and previous attempts to ‘fix’ the lakes. He also outlines the simple steps that could be taken to restore the lakes and give them a healthy future.

About the Author

A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, Dan Egan has been studying and writing about the Great Lakes for many years. A graduate of the Columbia Journalism School, Egan lives in Milwaukee with his wife and children, where he is a journalist and a senior water policy fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences. His reporting on invasive species and other issues for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has won numerous awards. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is his first book.

Related Events

Science on Tap: Exploring the Ecology of the Great Lakes

Thursday, August 9, 2018, 8:00 pm
SpeakEZ Lounge – 600 Monroe NW

Join Dr. Mark Luttenton from GVSU for a deep dive into the ecology of the Great Lakes. When Europeans first arrived, the Great Lakes ecosystem had been evolving into a diverse and stable ecosystem. Europeans viewed this as an economic opportunity and began to exploit the resources of the region. Dr. Luttenton will provide an ecological overview of the Great Lakes from the time they took shape to how they function today.

Protecting and Restoring the Great Lakes

Wednesday, August 22, 2018, 7:00 pm
Main Library – 111 Library St NE

Emily Finnell, Chief Strategist of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, will share past and ongoing efforts to protect and restore our Great Lakes. She coordinated the development and implementation of the Michigan Water Strategy, a 30-year plan that focuses on healthy ecosystems, enhancing the use and enjoyment of Michigan’s water resources and growing stewardship. Learn about the initiatives and policies around the Great Lakes. A question and answer period will follow the presentation.