There are a number of different threats to the environmental health of the Great Lakes. 34 threats, to be precise.

That number is according to a study and accompanying map made by researchers at the University of Michigan. The map helps to identify the environmental stresses to each of the Great Lakes, and provides a snapshot of all five lakes as a system.

From WZZM 13 Online:

“Among the biggest threats: Invasive mussels and lamprey that threaten the food chain, climate change that can affect water temperature and water levels, ballast water from ships that may introduce more uninvited species, a buildup of urban areas along the coast that sweeps auto and human waste into the waters during rainfall, and a continual runoff of phosphorous from farmlands.

In contrast, mining and a dwindling ice cover in the winter remain a threat to Lake Superior, said David Allan, the project’s lead researcher and a professor of aquatic sciences at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.”

Read the complete article at the link above, and listen to an interview with project lead David Allan of the University of Michigan here.