Reviews of the Dynamic Great Lakes by Barbara Spring
Great Lakes Hold Surprising Information
Peter Wild (5/6/2002) U. S. Water News Co -Published by The Freshwater Society
Are dinosaurs cruising the benthic depths of the Great Lakes even while we go about our daily tasks? Not exactly. Yet sturgeon, fish weighing up to 300 pounds and similarly plated with armor,are nosing around down there. Occasionally you can see the monsters appear, making their spawning runs up rivers and surfacing like submarines in the pools beneath waterfalls... The five Great Lakes, holding nearly twenty percent of the earth's fresh water, are quite young. Gouged out by glaciers, they assumed their present shapes a mere 3,000 years ago. For that, they are a dynamic shifting system, still changing and exhibiting surprising differences. Lake Ontario, for example, the easternmost, although smallest of the bodies, holds more water than Lake Erie, its shallower nearby sister. Here's a handy primer for all such things, from the interaction of phytoplankton and calcium carbonate that gives a white cast to these inland oceans come August and helps clean the water to the charming ice volcanoes spouting chilly "lava" in the winter. This is intriguing stuff for adults, but the straightforward presentation also lends itself to use in schools, beginning about the sixth grade and up. And yes, we get the latest news on the zebra mussel, the tube nose goby, and other threats to the natural scheme of things. Also good news; how since the banning of DDT in the 1970's, the bald eagles have come back.
The Dynamic Great Lakes
BOB GROSS , Of The Oakland Press USA (3/19/2003) This is an impressive little book. Not quite 110 pages long, it's a read of about an hour or so. The author has, however, managed to jam it full of facts and information about the Great Lakes. It's the kind of book that you might keep on a desk, ready at hand when you need to know something like the native fish population of Lake Superior. OK, so maybe not everyone has that need. The point is that you'll probably learn something about the lakes that you didn't know before. I, for example, had never heard of the whiting effect whereby the lakes regulate the balance between acid and alkaline and also cleanse themselves of pollutants, including metals - and that's coming from someone who has lived along the shores of Lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior. The author also sprinkles a strong environmental ethic throughout the book, coupled with a belief that the democratic process can make a difference.
Lisa Y NJ (1/30/2003) The Dynamic Great Lakes was full of information I never knew about our Great Lakes. The lake chapters contain basic facts about each individual lake, yet the author never lets you forget they are a system. What happens to one, happens to the others and the entire ecological niche.