Top positive review
Alarming with a backdrop of hope
Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2017
How much can the Great Lakes take? Dan Egan chronicles the successive invasions by lampreys, alewives, and zebra and quagga mussels. (Interesting fact: under some conditions, these mussels can filter "all of Lake Michigan in less than two weeks, sucking up the life that is the base of the food web and making its waters some of the clearest freshwater in the world.") He explains why salmon were introduced in lieu of an emphasis on restoring native lake trout. He documents the spread of invasive species (into and out of Lake Michigan) through the flow-reversed Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. He follows the northward approach of bighead, silver, and black carp. He persuasively argues for ballast-loaded overseas ships transferring their cargo to local ships or railroad lines instead of squeezing though the St. Lawrence Seaway. Egan demonstrates the urgent need for the United States and Canadian governments to actively protect an eco-system holding 20% of the world's non-frozen surface fresh water. Most importantly, after all the bad news, Egan concludes with proposals and discoveries that provide hope for our Great Lakes. Fascinating reading; highly recommended.