Lake Erie

Cleveland's hidden treasure

Lake Erie is as much a part of Cleveland as Little Italy, Shaker Heights and Tremont. It’s a hard-working lake, and it’s also a place to play, fish and find nature. But like its four sister Great Lakes, Erie faces continuing challenges. You can help make this Great Lake greater—join the efforts of Shedd Aquarium and Great Lakes Science Center.

Learn about Lake Erie’s and the Great Lakes Basin’s Challenges
Lake Erie’s recovery from deadly algal blooms—by controlling sewage and pollution—is an epic environmental success story. But Erie is threatened again by toxic blooms that contaminate drinking water and create dead zones unlivable for fishes. The new blooms are fed by heavier chemical runoff from farms and back yards, wastewater from larger urban centers and even sediment contaminants stirred up by more intense storms. “Legacy” contaminants—toxic chemicals banned decades ago—are still present in the lake’s wildlife. Meanwhile non-native invaders like zebra mussels are changing Erie’s ecology.

Because it has the smallest water volume and the most biodiversity of the Great Lakes, Erie is also the most susceptible to environmental threats. But it’s in our power—and best interest—to protect Northeast Ohio’s most defining feature by joining forces to make the problems and potential of this hidden treasure known to everyone. It’s time for us to return the favor and make this Great Lake, and all of the Great Lakes, great again.

Shedd Aquarium focuses on four issues that affect everyone and everything in the Great Lakes basin, from the smallest freshwater mussel to the residents of the cities along the basin’s shoreline: habitat restoration, native species, invasive species and ecological separation. Learn more...

Join the Great Lakes conservation conversation:  

Volunteer opportunities and events
Great Science Academy teen program
PitcH20 innovation competition
The Alliance for Water Future community collaborative

Educational Resources
The waters of Eastern Ohio
Life Science Investigation multimedia curriculum on Asian carp
Shedd Aquarium's Right Bite program


Conservator Partners:

Buy Tickets Give Now Be A Member Shop Online Facebook Flickr Twitter YouTube Google+ Instagram Pinterest Vine