Great Lake Huron, which is the fifth largest lake in the orld, is frequently visited by millions of tourist; however, lately the number of visitors has greatly decreased. Perhaps, because waterways and beaches are being polluted endangering not only the lives of people who visit, but also its fauna and flora. Following, I will specify the major, leading, and many other contributing causes of the water contamination in Lake Huron; also, I will talk about the effects it has had on its economy and the many people who frequent its beaches.
By addressing the causes and effects of its polluted waters, I’m confident that it will create public wareness for ways to improve its current condition and prevention for the future. To begin with, the main and major cause of poor quality water in Lake Huron is attributed to contaminated run-off, which comes into its waterways from many different sources and it’s identified as point source pollution. These sources include failing sewer systems that leak and overflow causing human waste like pesticides, fecal matter, and household chemicals to leak and flush into the waterways (epa. ov, 1997). In fact, to prevent cities from flooding, approximately 70 percent of water ewers in North America direct their excess flow into the Great Lakes area. In addition, we could also attribute point source pollution to industrial waste and dangerous substance deposition. Indeed, one particular example of legal dumping Assignment 3. 1 By paolagonzalez87 dumping “more than 700 million gallons of wastewater daily and 150 million pounds of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) yearly into the Detroit River , which serves as a link between Lake Huron and Lake Erie” (Hicks, n. . ). Consequently, point source pollution is easier to control because its font is identifiable (see graph in Figure 1). Following the major cause, we are able to find the leading second cause of water contamination in the Great Lake region, which has been identified as non-point source pollution. The source of this type of pollution is untraceable to the cause; therefore, it is highly complicated to manage and normalize. When heavy storms hit and large amounts of rain and snow fall nearby, they drag runoff into the waterways.
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Toxins and contaminants like oil, salt from roads and freeways, pesticides and fertilizers from agricultural farms, and residues from construction locations are aking their way into the waters of Lake Huron. Contaminants from non-point source are causing the growth of algae, which not only produces hazardous toxins for wildlife and human health, but also makes beaches and water to have an unpleasant odor. As a result, massive amounts of algae in the water produce oxygen reduction, which is a condition called hypoxia, asphyxiating Lake Huron’s wildlife (Dorfman & Haren, 2013).
Furthermore, cladophora, an alga that also threatens flora and fauna feeding from the Lake’s water, it has caused many beach closures in the area, since hey have become reproduction grounds for harmful bacteria that also affects the health of people who frequent these beaches (see graph in Figure 2). Additional to the main causes, we could also find two other contributing causes. The first one of these causes include atmospheric pollution, in which contaminants are transferred from the atmosphere into the waterways.
Some examples of these contaminants are: trash incinerators, coal-burning energy plants, oil and fuels burnt by industries located along the shores of Lake Huron, and motor vehicle smock. Furthermore, these ollutants reach the atmosphere and transform into sulfuric acid and nitric acid; therefore, they drop back into the globe in the form of acid rain (great-lakes. net, n. d. ). Subsequent to acid rain we find the second contributing cause; sadly, it is the beachgoers that frequent the area.
Unfortunately, researchers in 2005 were able to determine that people visiting the Great Lakes were identified as an additional source of water pollution. For instance, beach-goers that have a smoking habit usually bury their cigarette butts on the beach, which creates a “pocket of toxic waste n the sand” (lakehuron. ca, n. d. ). The filter on a cigarette butt is specifically designed to filter approximately 170 toxic chemicals, which a cigarette contains.
Actually, there have been reports of recovered cigarette butts from the stomachs of wildlife that live in the Lake Huron ecosystem. In addition to cigarette waste, when beachgoers go into the beach waters, they discharge fecal organisms through a process called: bather shedding. As well, small children can’t prevent fecal accidents from occurring; therefore, they trigger the presence of bacteria contaminating the waters. What is more, the effects that water pollution cause on the economy of Lake Huron are devastating for local businesses and state tourism.
Beach closure, due to poor water quality, is the first effect from water pollution that affects the economy deeply. Top destinations for vacation among tourists include destinations that offer beautiful sandy beaches and water related activities. In effect, Coastal tourism in Lake Huron due to beach closures could greatly affect the local economy. Another effect of water contamination that affects the economy of Lake Huron is the decrease on one of its ain sources of income: salmon fisheries.
Water pollution destroys the wildlife in waterways where recreational fishing, which includes salmon fishing, is a source of income for local bait and tackle shops; therefore, absence of fishes due to poor water quality affects the economy of businesses that supply bait and tackle for recreational fishing purpose. Lastly, getting beaches healthier and improving the quality of the waterways is extremely costly. In fact, The Lake Huron Southeast Shore Working Group, which is a team of environmental professionals, has “dedicated well in excess f $500,000 towards projects aimed at improving water quality in the area” (healthylakehuron. a, 2011). Last but not least, contaminated waters cause many dangers to peoples’ health. Bacteria in waters that are polluted may cause several illnesses like: hepatitis, stomach viruses, conjunctivitis, and respiratory infections among others; indeed, in some cases the bacterial infections are so severe that may cause death (see graph in Figure 3). In addition, people whose Jobs and source of income depend on Lake Huron’s tourism are ultimately paying the price of oor water quality, since contaminated beaches are not a frequented place by tourists.
Additionally, people whom own properties along the shores of Lake Huron are also being affected by the polluted waters. They continue to experience foul odors coming from the toxins released by excess algae on the lake’s shores and beaches. In conclusion, efforts on improving water quality in Lake Huron’s waterways, coast, and beaches are a constant priority to the Huron’s community. Many coastal conservation groups have teamed up to create consciousness among the population o avoid point source and non-point source pollution in the waterways of the Great Lakes as well as Lake Huron’s beaches, streams, and channels.