Pollution and Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes thanks to low amounts of nutrients, sediments, and organic material. Even so, it is still impacted by pollution. Because the lake’s shores are not as developed with cities and industries as the other Great Lakes, it has never suffered from pollution in ways many other lakes do. This lets the wildlife that call Lake Superior home flourish and enjoy a healthy life.
However, this type of pollution is only part of the story. All the Great Lakes suffer pollution from the atmosphere that contaminates the lake through rain, snow, and dry particles. Almost all the toxic pollution found in Lake Superior, like mercury, PCB’s, and persistent contaminants, come from the atmosphere.
The challenge with Lake Superior is to keep it as clean as it is now and to clean up the problems that have been found. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is tackling the restoration and protection of Lake Superior through a number of approaches. Using a geographically based approach to water quality protection and restoration will enable them to identify water quality problems. Also, working with communities to spread the word and develop effective pollutant-reduction strategies is crucial.