Document Type

Government Document

Publication Date

3-1990

Abstract

This essay is based on material presented at a public forum jointly organized and sponsored by the International Association of Great Lakes Research and the Royal Botanical Gardens. The forum was held at the Royal Botanical Gardens Auditorium on the evening of May 2, 1989. Topics discussed are:

  • physical features of the Lake Ontario Basin
  • history of European settlement and industrialization
  • eutrophication and toxic contaminants in the context of the Lake Ontario food web
  • effects of eutrophication and toxic contaminants on Lake Ontario fish and on the human population of the Basin
  • possible effects of global climate change on Lake Ontario
  • population growth and land use in the Lake Ontario Basin
  • societal stresses arising from real, perceived, or anticipated environmental degradation
  • an optimistic future scenario for Lake Ontario

The point of view of the article is consistent with the ecosystem approach to Great Lakes environmental issues. It suggests that individual attitudes and lifestyles will have to be reappraised and changed before the technical knowledge we now or might eventually possess will be effective in assisting a return to a sustainable way of life. The essay is written so as to be comprehensible to high school students.

Comments

The authors would like to acknowledge the ideas of many Canadian and U. S. scientists that have contributed to the content of this paper. In particular, this essay has benefited from suggestions offered by C. Gray, M. Gilbertson, G. K. Rodgers, P. F. Hamblin, and M. A. Donelan.

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