Great Lakes Literacy Principles



[1] Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, and Erie together form North America's Great Lakes, a region that contains 20% of the world's fresh surface water and is home to roughly one quarter of the U.S. population (Figure 1). Supporting a $4 billion sport fishing industry, plus $16 billion annually in boating, 1.5 million U.S. jobs, and $62 billion in annual wages directly, the Great Lakes form the backbone of a regional economy that is vital to the United States as a whole (see Yet the grandeur and importance of this freshwater resource are little understood, not only by people in the rest of the country but also by many in the region itself. To help address this lack of knowledge, the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Great Lakes, supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, developed literacy principles for the Great Lakes to serve as a guide for education of students and the public. These “Great Lakes Literacy Principles” represent an understanding of the Great Lakes' influences on society and society's influences on the Great Lakes.


Support for development of the Great Lakes Literacy Principles was provided by COSEE California from its National Science Foundation grant OCE-0731182, to demonstrate applicability of ocean science concepts to the Great Lakes for COSEE network coherence. Ocean Literacy: The Essential Principles of Ocean Sciences K-12 and the draft Lake Erie Literacy Principles served as prototypes for the Great Lakes principles. Ohio Sea Grant support is critical to Web development and ongoing communication about Great Lakes literacy.