About the Region
The Great Lakes region contains the largest fresh surface water system on earth covering more than 94,000 square miles and draining more than twice as much land. Approximately one-fifth of the world's fresh surface water supply and nine-tenths of the U.S. supply is found in this region.
The Great Lakes region also contains forests and wilderness areas, rich agricultural land, hundreds of tributaries and thousands of smaller lakes, and extensive mineral deposits. The region's sand dunes, coastal marshes, rocky shorelines, lakeplain prairies, savannas, forests, fens, wetlands and other landscapes contain features that are unique or best represented within the Great Lakes basin.
The environment supports a world-class fishery and a variety of wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, beaver, muskrat, weasel, fox, black bear, bobcat, moose and other furbearing animals. Bird populations thrive on the various terrains, some migrating south in the winter, others making permanent homes. An estimated 180 species of fish are native to the Great Lakes.
The genetic sample atlas provides access to species and sample sites collected by the Great Lakes Science Center-USGS and partner agencies. These collections have been used in various genetic analyses performed at the Great Lakes Science Center.
Some documents offered by the Great Lakes Ecosystem Information Node are in Portable Document Format (PDF) and require Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click the link to get a free copy.