"How Invasive Species Changed the Great Lakes Forever"

"June 1, 1988, the day everything changed for the Great Lakes, was sunny, hot and mostly calm — perfect weather for the young researchers from the University of Windsor who were hunting for critters crawling across the bottom of Lake St. Clair.

Sonya Santavy was a freshly graduated biologist aboard the research boat as its whining outboard pushed it toward the middle of the lake that straddles the U.S. and Canadian border. On a map, Lake St. Clair looks like a 24-mile-wide aneurysm in the river system east of Detroit that connects Lake Huron to Lake Erie. Water pools in it and then churns through as the outflows from Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron swirl down into Erie, then continue flowing east over Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario, and finally out the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean. ...

Sonya Santavy was a freshly graduated biologist aboard the research boat as its whining outboard pushed it toward the middle of the lake that straddles the U.S. and Canadian border. On a map, Lake St. Clair looks like a 24-mile-wide aneurysm in the river system east of Detroit that connects Lake Huron to Lake Erie. Water pools in it and then churns through as the outflows from Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron swirl down into Erie, then continue flowing east over Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario, and finally out the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean."

Dan Egan reports for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel staff July 27, 2014, in the first part of a four-part series.

SEE ALSO:

Part Two: "Formidable Invasive Species Won't Be Easy To Keep Out of Great Lakes"

Part Three "Park Chief Put Foot Down on Invasive Species. Can Others Follow Suit?"

Part Four "Leaping Out of the Lakes: Invasive Mussels Spread Across America"

Monday, July 28, 2014