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Ashaka Patel

on 11 June 2013

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Transcript of Water

Water Our Effect on its Ecosystems Great Lakes Great Lakes Economy Effect Environmental Impact of the Zebra Mussels Atlantic Ocean Invasive Species in the Great Lakes The Great Lakes contain approximately 18% of the world’s fresh water supply. The maintenance, hygiene of humans, and handling of the pollution of the Great Lakes results in huge financial investments. Zebra Mussels are native to Russia. In 1988, this organism was transported to North America on a ship where it colonized parts of Lake St. Clair. In less than 10 years, zebra mussels spread to all five Great Lakes and into many other lakes. Zebra mussels are very successful invaders because they live and feed in many different aquatic habitats, and they have different stages. Young zebra mussels are so tiny. They are so small that it is only invisible to the naked eye. Since, young zebra mussels are so small, they are spread easily by water currents and can drift for miles before settling. Adult zebra mussels are larger, so they remain stationary. They easily attached to objects, like ships. Zebra mussels are filter feeders and they receive up to 1 gallon of water. During this process, every particle in the water column is removed and eaten by the mussels. This feeding ability, with high population densities, rapidly clears the water of even the largest lakes. Since zebra mussels became established in Lake Erie, water clarity has increased from 6 inches to 30 feet in some areas. Unfortunately, the material removed from the water consists of other live animals therefore, some animals are dying. The Atlantic Ocean is the second biggest ocean in the world and covers about 20% of the Earth’s surface. One of the major problems in the Atlantic Ocean is overfishing and habitat change. From 1979 to 1990 the number of salmon caught in the Atlantic Ocean has dropped from about 4 million to 700 000 salmon per year! Water is transparent, colorless, odorless, tasteless liquid that forms our seas, lakes, and rain. It can be perceived to be a fairly simple substance. However, the complexity of water and its affect on its diverse ecosystems can only be seen through a deeper look. Economy The great lakes shipping industry creates 227 000 jobs. It produces $35 billion of revenue and gives $14 billion/year to its workers.164 million metric tons of cargo is delivered every year across the Great Lakes. The great lakes are vital to Canada, however, we are faced with issues... Great Lakes Environmental Issues One of the earliest major pollution events in the Great Lakes was back in June 1969. The day that Cuyahoga River en route Lake Erie caught on fire because it was so polluted. The pollutants that plagued the rivers were: oil, cleaning products, gasoline, garbage, and etc. These pollutants are released on daily basis even today to the Great Lakes. Pollution One of the major pollutants in lake Ontario are pesticides. For example, if an Opossum Shrimp were to consume pesticide in the water, the shrimp would face many side effects. Firstly, its reproductive organs would become mutated and it may not be able to reproduce. This pesticide also effects the major predators of the Opossum Shrimp: the Rainbow Smelt. If a Rainbow smelt ate the Opossum shrimp, it would experience the same side effects as the Opossum Shrimp does. As the Rainbow Smelt consumes many shrimp, it will have a higher concentration of pesticides within it. Finally if humans ate the fish that ate the shrimp, we would have the highest concentration of pesticides in our bodies, in addition to experience the toxic effects of the pesticides. Effect on the Food Chain The effect of the pesticides traveling through the food chain in higher concentrations as the trophic level increases is known as biomagnification The pollution also damages many aquatic species resulting in a downfall of companies in industries involving these species, such as fishing and agriculture and thus, declining the economy. The pollution also impedes the recreation and tourism involving the Great Lakes and job opportunities, therefore declining the economy again. The mussel density in Lake Erie has been recorded to over 1 million per square meter.
In 1989, the town of Monroe’s water supply was lost for three days due to massive numbers of zebra mussels attached to the pipelines. Since then, water companies needed to add chemicals to prevent these mussels from attaching. In Lake Erie, they have had increased costs with removing tons of mussel shell, in only in the swimming areas. They estimate that it is going to take about billions of dollars in the next 10 years to decrease the amount of zebra mussels in the Great Lakes. The other invasive species include the rusty crayfish, spiny water flea, sea lamprey, Asian carp, and many more. Rusty Crayfish Spiny Water Flea
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