Posted by: Kath Usitalo | April 29, 2010

Great Lakes Day And Our Waterlife

Lake Michigan, Upper Peninsula (TJ Kozak photo)

In a post a year ago I mentioned a Michigan-based group that is trying to do for the Great Lakes what Earth Day has done for the planet. It’s a grassroots effort to create an International Great Lakes Day to raise awareness about and respect for our precious resource, the world’s largest bodies of fresh water.

The second annual salute is set for May 18, 2010. You can check out the resources, which are designed for school and community programs, at the International Great Lakes Day website.  (I especially like the photo of the state representative pondering placement of the five Great Lakes puzzle pieces. Hmmmm…..)

Rocky Lake Superior beach

What will it take to elevate this day of Great Lakes recognition to the level of Earth Day, which just celebrated its 40th anniversary?

Time and a persistence, to be sure. Marketing savvy. A cool logo and graphic T-shirts. Money.

There are plenty of groups striving to protect and promote these freshwater inland seas; it would be nice to see them cooperate on this Great Lakes Day idea.

Here’s something of interest to anyone with an interest in the Great Lakes:

Our Waterlife is a documentary produced in 2009 by Kevin McMahon, a Canadian with deep connections to the Great Lakes. Check out the trailer for the film, which was shown at last year’s Traverse City Film Festival; upcoming screenings are May 20 in Toronto and elsewhere around the globe. Or, you can organize a screening.

Be sure to spend some time with the fascinating Waterlife interactive website.

On it a series of “Water Is…” clicks take you to short pieces on Great Lakes history, fishing, pollution, responsibility, invasive species, politics and more, with facts, voice-over narration, great music and cinematography, plus links to other Great Lakes information sources.

It opens with the words, “Waterlife: The story of the last great supply of fresh drinking water on earth.”

Put that way, water we waiting for? Let’s think about what we can do to help get International Great Lakes Day rolling.



  1. What a beautiful photo of sunlight on the water!

  2. I like that photo, too…but really like the turquoise canoe on the beach! Fabulous colors!

    Thanx for all the info – I will definitely go to those websites!

  3. Thanks, ladies.

    Our son Graham hand built the 17′ long wooden kayak when he was in high school!

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