When I retired from service with the Canadian federal government I was determined to write an essay, maybe even a book, to explain the background, significance and progress (or lack thereof) on environmental problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem. Two trends finally pushed me to act on this objective: first, the internet came alive with information from government at all levels including Canada-US agencies, non-government organizations, lobby groups, and research journals, and, second, a significant amount of this information from corporations, their allied organizations, and even governments was biased, sometimes contrary to happenings in the real Great Lakes ecosystem. Although this project was immense in scope and depth of information, I was fortunate in receiving advice and chapter reviews from many experts in their fields. I am grateful for help from these people: Kristi Anderson, Jim Bruce, Victor Cairns, Jim Coates, John Cooley, Ted Cowan, Randy Eshenroder, Gordon Hartman, Ken Higgs, Joseph Leach, Ken Minns, Scott Millard, Harvey Shear, John Sprague, Peter Storck, and Les Thomas. I am thankful for the encouragement of most of them and also from Henry Regier, a friend from college days and our times as commissioners of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The work by Total E Works in designing and hosting the website to make the book freely available to concerned groups, students and other individuals is much appreciated. Finally, I thank my wife Margot for her continued support with a variety of tasks on the book and backup on day-to-day responsibilities with home and family.

The Great Lakes