Great Lakes

Living Systems

A satellite imageof the five Great Lakes as seen from space
The Great Lakes as seen from space.


The Great Lakes Basin — Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and their watersheds — covers an area of 750,000-square kilometres. That’s an area larger than New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island combined.

The Great Lakes Basin is one of the most biologically diverse regions in Canada. The lakes support thousands of wetlands, and a variety of landscapes, plants, fish and wildlife. Here you will find over 150 native species of fish and more than 50 native plant communities. Some of these species are found nowhere else in the world.


The Great Lakes are rich in natural resources and very much full of life. Yet, they are vulnerable to human pressure and in need of protection.


The Ministry of Natural Resources ensures that the waters, plants, fish and wildlife of Ontario’s portion of the Great Lakes Basin are protected and are available for future generations to use and enjoy.





Satellite image provided by SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and GeoEye.
Copyright 2008.  All rights reserved.

Banner Image: Doug Hamilton