Experience Michigan Like Never Before as a Vivid Map Unravels the Great Lakes' Mysteries


A colorful new state map uniquely highlights how Michigan truly is the Great Lake State and can be yours for free—no strings attached.

A collaborative project between the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation and The Nature Conservancy has produced a map illustrating the interconnectedness of the Great Lakes region. The map designates each drainage basin (watershed), emphasizing that every parcel of land, regardless of its proximity to a water body, ultimately affects the Great Lakes.

The Erb Foundation states, “We like to say that everyone lives on waterfront property. This is because everything people do on their land – no matter if it’s located on a river or lake or not – ends up in one of the Great Lakes.”

The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation advances an environmentally healthy and culturally vibrant metropolitan Detroit and a flourishing Great Lakes ecosystem. The foundation was established in 2007 by Fred and Barbara Erb, who were passionate about sustainability and philanthropy.

The foundation focuses on three key areas: environmental sustainability, cultural vibrancy, and community leadership. The foundation's work has significantly impacted the Great Lakes region. For example, the foundation has supported projects to restore wetlands, clean polluted rivers, and protect endangered species. The foundation has also supported the development of new arts and cultural venues and programs that provide access to the arts for underserved communities.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global environmental non-profit organization that works to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. It is one of the world's largest private conservation organizations, with over 400 scientists and over 4 million members.

TNC works in over 70 countries and territories worldwide, protecting over 120 million acres of land and water. One example is how the organization has helped to protect over 100 million acres of Amazon rainforest, over 5 million acres of coral reefs, and over 1 million acres of alpine grasslands. TNC has also helped to restore over 4 million acres of wetlands and over 100,000 miles of rivers.

The color-coded map showcases various Great Lake watersheds of differing sizes, with certain hues representing specific lakes. For instance, all the watersheds associated with Lake Huron are marked in green. These areas drain into Lake Huron. The basins in brown hues drain into Lake Michigan. The blue surrounding Lake Superior drains there and so forth.

The map underscores the idea that all water from these marked regions, irrespective of its quality, eventually flows into the associated lake.

The map is intended as an educational tool to promote awareness and inspire better environmental stewardship among residents, businesses, and governments. Those interested in taking further action or seeking more information are encouraged to contact their respective local watershed organizations in the U.S. or conservation authorities in Canada.

To get your free map, visit https://www.erbff.org/press-release/great-lakes-watersheds-map/

Image courtesy of the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.

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