I’ve been drinking Great Lakes Water all my life, I was born on Lake Erie, I live on Lake Ontario, and I spend my summers in Lake Huron so I think I’ve covered the Great Lakes pretty well. I’ve been to all sides of the Great Lakes and to all the of Great Lakes and I can say just like the other 44 million people who live in the Great Lakes Basin, we drink the water and the water and the water is very much a part of us.
There was a time about 20-25 years ago when I in fact, did a dive in the Great Lakes down 150 feet. That’s a long way down. That was in a three person submarine that had been brought in for scientific purposes. Off Long Point, in Lake Erie in that very deep area we dove into the Great Lakes, dove down, all the way down and the lights on the submarine were able to illuminate the ship and it was still with its three masts in place and interestingly enough to the surprise of all of us we discovered zebra muscles on it, so that was a scientific mission.
The Great Lakes I think are special for many many reasons the most important of which is it sustains life but of course there are many other reasons, there are reasons of commerce, reasons of recreation, there reasons of boating. Reasons for just about everything you can think of revolves around the lakes. The lakes are really the spine of the economy.
There were times when we could go down and see the ice caves that had been created on the lakes from the wind action during those coldest months. They were something to behold, walking around and to walk through, under, over, that was an experience. Of course there were a lot of other experiences as we grew up, children growing up, even as a teenager I think I can recall getting my car stuck in the sand on the beach that I shouldn’t have been on in the April months. For the last 40 years I’ve spent my life on the Great Lakes or in this case Lake Huron, we live on community that’s only accessed by the water and by boats and it’s a great, great experience. Our children have grown through it and grown up in it and they too, cherish these moments in the Great Lakes.
I’m Gordon Walker, I’m a Commissioner of the International Joint Commission, Chairman of the Canadian Section.