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The Great Lakes - Superior,
Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario - are known for their beauty and the wealth of
resources within and around them. The combined lakes contain one-fifth of the
world's surface fresh water, and they are often referred to as the "sweetwater
seas." The Great Lakes could cover the entire continental United States with
over 9.5 feet of water. They are large enough to influence the regional
climate, cooling summers and tempering winters, as well as increasing amounts of
rain and snow in the region.
A world-renowned fishery,
thousands of acres of forests, major mineral and metal reserves and rich
agricultural land provide a balance of economic opportunity within the basin.
In addition, the lakes and their surroundings provide many recreational
opportunities and an appealing place to live and work.