We took a short trip to Sault Ste. Marie on the Canadian Border. As you can see on the map, the four locks here open up strategic shipping routes between three great lakes bringing iron ore and grains east to Detroit and Cleveland. The St. Mary river has rapids here, making the river impassible to large ships prior to the locks. Chippewa Indians, the first settlers of the area, fished the rapids, and are still the primary commercial fisherman of the area. We watched a large ship pass through the locks. Quite impressive!
One of the unintended consequences of increased access to shipping is the introduction of unwanted aquatic species. Cornell researchers recently identified a new invasive in western Lake Erie that they have never seen this far North. The origins and possible effects of this organism remains a mystery.
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