Reviews of The Dynamic Great Lakes

 

 

 

Great Lakes Hold Surprising Information   

Peter Wild    (5/6/2002)        U. S. Water News Co -Published by The Freshwater Society

Are dinosaurs cruising the benthic depths of the Great Lakes even while we go about our daily tasks? Not exactly. Yet sturgeon, fish weighing up to 300 pounds and similarly plated with armor,are nosing around down there. Occasionally you can see the monsters appear, making their spawning runs up rivers and surfacing like submarines in the pools beneath waterfalls... The five Great Lakes, holding nearly twenty percent of the earth's fresh water, are quite young. Gouged out by glaciers, they assumed their present shapes a mere 3,000 years ago. For that, they are a dynamic shifting system, still changing and exhibiting surprising differences. Lake Ontario, for example, the easternmost, although smallest of the bodies, holds more water than Lake Erie, its shallower nearby sister. Here's a handy primer for all such things, from the interaction of phytoplankton and calcium carbonate that gives a white cast to these inland oceans come August and helps clean the water to the charming ice volcanoes spouting chilly "lava" in the winter. This is intriguing stuff for adults, but the straightforward presentation also lends itself to use in schools, beginning about the sixth grade and up. And yes, we get the latest news on the zebra mussel, the tube nose goby, and other threats to the natural scheme of things. Also good news; how since the banning of DDT in the 1970's, the bald eagles have come back.

 

 

The Dynamic Great Lakes   

BOB GROSS , Of The Oakland Press USA  (3/19/2003)        This is an impressive little book. Not quite 110 pages long, it's a read of about an hour or so. The author has, however, managed to jam it full of facts and information about the Great Lakes. It's the kind of book that you might keep on a desk, ready at hand when you need to know something like the native fish population of Lake Superior. OK, so maybe not everyone has that need. The point is that you'll probably learn something about the lakes that you didn't know before. I, for example, had never heard of the whiting effect whereby the lakes regulate the balance between acid and alkaline and also cleanse themselves of pollutants, including metals - and that's coming from someone who has lived along the shores of Lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior. The author also sprinkles a strong environmental ethic throughout the book, coupled with a belief that the democratic process can make a difference.  

 

 

 

Very Informative   

Lisa Y NJ  (1/30/2003)        The Dynamic Great Lakes was full of information I never knew about our Great Lakes. The lake chapters contain basic facts about each individual lake, yet the author never lets you forget they are a system. What happens to one, happens to the others and the entire ecological niche. 

 

 

 

The Dynamic Great Lakes   

Charlie Misner The Bookman  (12/3/2002)        Spring's new book has resonated with readers who appreciate its user-friendly descriptions of Great Lakes phenomena...People like the idea that there's a book about the Great Lakes that's not technical. It's aimed at a general audience. 

 

 

 

The Dynamic Great Lakes   

Ron Mader Planeta.com  (9/26/2002)        Interesting collection of essays about the Great Lakes, formed by Ice Age glaciers and now polluted by toxins. The author writes: "The Great Lakes system is a treasure. Understanding their natural processes and understanding the dynamics of what we do is essential to these life-giving waters. 

 

 

 

The Dynamic Great Lakes   

Elle Andra-Warner, Book Reviewer, Thunder Bay Post Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada  (8/17/2002)        I've lived beside the waters of Lake Superior most of my life, but it wasn't until I read this book that I've really begun to understand and appreciate Lake Superior and the Great Lakes. The book is only 107 pages but it covers everything you need to know about the Great Lakes: how they were formed, the individual physical characteristics of each lake; their changes over time; the problems that affect them and the possible solutions. And the message that humans can positively affect their environment is strong: think globally and act locally. Entertaining, yet informative -- "The Dynamic Great Lakes" is a must read for anyone living near the Great Lakes.  

 

 

The Dynamic Great Lakes   

Norman Goldman Bookideas  (8/9/2002)        Many of us know very little about the five Great Lakes other than perhaps being able to name them. As Barbara Spring states in her introduction to her outstanding primer The Dynamic Great Lakes they are "a flowing river of seas left behind by Ice Age glaciers and are nearly twenty percent of the world's supply of fresh surface water; the world's greatest freshwater system." The ecosystem of this great body of water is very complex and unfortunately due to pollution and the fallout of modern industry and agriculture they have gone through a gradual transformation.

One of the unique characteristics of this compact book is that it is written in a language devoid of esoteric explanations. The eight chapters of the book reflect the author's teaching and journalistic aptitudes in knowing how to unravel the mystery of the Great Lakes and the many painful dangers it has faced and continues to face.

 

Each of the five Lakes is introduced with a brief synopsis of important elements distinguishing one from the other such as: elevation, length, breadth, average depth, maximum depth, volume, water area, retention time, population and outlet. From this point of departure the author deals with the various changes that have taken place as well as the various major issues affecting the Lakes. There are also brief descriptions of the various animal life found in each of the Lakes and how they have been affected by pollution and the appearance of harmful species, such as the Lamprey Eel.

 

However, we are also reminded throughout the reading of the book that "people power" can have an effect and if we band together and make our voices heard we could exert influence in reversing some of the harmful trends that have caused ecological disaster. For example we are apprised of the situation that occurred in relation to Lake Erie. In 1969 a tributary river of Lake Erie, the Cayahoga, caught on fire due to being heavily coated with oil and debris. As a result, the Federal Water Quality Administration launched a one and half billion dollar municipal sewage treatment program for the Erie Basin which included the five surrounding states: Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.

 

The conclusion of the book most appropriately reminds us that: "we are all challenged to use our knowledge, creativity and common sense to keep the Great Lakes great. Can you think of ways to think globally and act locally?" We are also warned " life on earth is only possible as long as our limited life support system works.

 

 

 

 

 

The Dynamic Great Lakes   

Jonathan David Masters www.booktrees.com  (7/9/2002)        My first impression of Ms Spring’s book was that here was a woman who was on a labor of love. Her enthusiasm for her subject is contagious. She gives the reader an overall history of the Great Lakes, a few secondary level ecology and geology lessons and then a brief history of each of the five lakes. She then sums up by identifying the major problems and elegantly expresses what she sees as possible solutions.

The general theme of her book is that we have and are continuing to make mistakes with regards to how we’ve handle these lakes in the past and that while some of these mistakes are irreversible (the extinction of species), others can be corrected through the democratic process.

 

The author is not a doomsday prophet, to the contrary, I found her book full of hope and promise ‘IF’ we (you and I) the ordinary citizen will care enough to become informed and get involved.

 

Worth a reading if for no other reason then that the writing is masterfully done and the many facts you’ll learn about these ever changing bodies of water are copious and engaging. Reminded me a little of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.

 

 

 

 

 

The Dynamic Great Lakes   

Rodney Hsu Fishing With Rod  (7/9/2002)        Although living in coastal BC, the complexity of the Great Lakes has often made me curious. After attending a lecture in 2000 regarding this subject, I was eager to find out more about the history of this body of water. In the recent month, I have been reading through Barbara Spring's new book The Dynamic Great Lakes and learned a tremendous amount of history and facts.

The Great Lakes are made of several large bodies of water that were formed during glaciation in eastern North America. These bodies of water include Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. It is the largest freshwater system on this planet that are interconnected by waterways and rivers. These lakes are so large that they behave like a small ocean.

 

Barbara Spring is a resident of the Great Lakes and she has observed and done extensive researches on this complex ecosystem. She is an artist who sees the beauty of the Great Lakes, and a very vocal activitist who is determined to fight against pollution and other threats to preserve this beauty.

 

As the name implies, The Dynamic Great Lakes describes the changes that these lakes undergo overtime. Reading through this book is like taking a journey through time. Spring introduces you to the major historical events that took place at each lake and the unique characteristics that they possess today. It is a biology lesson and a history lesson that is taught through storytelling by a knowledgeable local. Unlike most scientific publications, one does not have to be a diehard biologist to understand the scientific concepts that are written by Spring. She has written in a language that readers of all ages and education levels can appreciate it.

 

Spring also addresses the major issues that have been taking place in the Great Lakes during the past few decades. She stresses the devastation of pollutants such as DDT and dioxin have caused in the Great Lakes. She also inspired me by giving examples of how these effects can be reversed when residents are determined to make a difference.

 

To an angler, this book can be a helpful guide if one wants to understand the dynamic system of a lake. I also enjoyed reading through many biological facts of fish species that were brought up throughout the book. Although my background in limnology is fairly broad, I found that the amount of knowledge that I have gained after reading this book was plentiful. If you are looking for a book that can help you grow as an angler, a scientist or an environmentalist, pick up The Great Dynamic Lakes. 

 
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