We’re concerned about the Great Lakes—and you should be too

A native of the Great Lakes State, National Geographic’s editor contends that protection of the freshwater source is key to the planet’s survival.

I grew up in the Great Lakes State, and for many years now, during my annual summer (yes, it has to be summer) visit back to Michigan, I’m always happy about what I don’t see. I don’t see throngs of Californians (sorry) swarming adorable lakeside towns like Petoskey or Glen Arbor. I don’t see hordes of New Yorkers (sorry) splashing about Lake Michigan or thundering down the steep white sands of Sleeping Bear Dunes.

No offense to the multitudes on both coasts, but I’ve always been glad the still-unspoiled charms of northwest Michigan felt like my secret—or at least a secret held by a smaller group of people, largely from the Midwest.

Lately, however, I’ve been thinking about the downside of being out of sight and out of mind.

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