Trying to understand what’s happening with the Great Lakes depends in part on understanding what’s happening with the people who live among them.

Part of that task involves tapping the heads and hearts of Great Lakes basin inhabitants. If you’re interested in helping, contact me at davedem at  Here are some of the questions I hope you will answer.

First, about you.

Where were you born?

How old are you?

What is your first memory of one of the Great Lakes? How did it make you feel?

What is a recent memory of a Great Lake – an experience, that is?

Do you use (recreate in or in the shores of) the Great Lakes? How often do you see one of the Great Lakes?

Now, about the health of the Lakes.

How important do you think it is to protect the lakes — not very, somewhat, or very?

Do you think the Great Lakes are getting better, worse or staying about the same? What helps you form that opinion?

What is the number one threat to the health of the Great Lakes?

Do you think an individual can do anything to benefit the Great Lakes? What?

Are you hopeful or pessimistic about the future of the Great Lakes? Why?

Do your friends ever talk about the Great Lakes? If so, what do they say and talk about? Personal or political?

Would you say that you care more about one of the Great Lakes than the Great Lakes in general? If so, which one and why?

How many of the Great Lakes have you seen?

Who do you think has the lead responsibility for protecting the Great Lakes? Do you think they are doing a good job?

Have you read any books about the Great Lakes? Or seen any movies?

Do you think Great Lakes fish are safe to eat, particularly pregnant women?
If people care so much about the Great Lakes, why are they in mixed or deteriorating condition in some ways, according to scientists from Canada and the U.S.?
Anything else you’d like to say?