In the Great Lakes

Shedd’s commitment to conservation starts in its own backyard—the Great Lakes. For something so close, the lakes still harbor many mysteries. Our field scientists are studying the region’s aquatic wildlife and habitats to unlock the secrets beneath the water’s surface.

The stakes are high! The Great Lakes form the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem with a basin that encompasses eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. More than 3,500 species of plants and animals, along with 36 million people, depend on the resources of this region, starting with life-giving water.

The lakes are wild and dynamic, and at the same time developed and disturbed. Shedd’s researchers are surveying endangered fishes, monitoring invasive species, tracking migrations and studying the effects of habitat restoration. Through their fieldwork, they’re contributing to a fuller understanding of how this vast system can be conserved and protected.

You can help, too, through everyday actions like conserving household water.