Lake Superior Kayak Trip


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   Amy Voytilla and Dave Freeman have set out to paddle around Lake Superior .  It is a 1200-mile journey around the world’s largest freshwater lake that began in Grand Marais, MN.  They are paddling in connection with The Wilderness Classroom Organization, “a non-profit organization that strives to engage, excite, and motivate students and teachers using an interactive technology-based learning model that draws upon peoples’ innate curiosity and desire for exploration.”  By visiting their website you can participate in the journey along with 30,000  3rd to 8th grade students who use the internet to follow along and learn about water resources and much more.  It looks like a wonderful journey so be sure to check out their progress as they paddle around the largest of the Great Lakes.  Below is just a sampling of the information that can be found on their site. 


1. The water on the earth’s surface totals about 362 trillion gallons. Only one percent is freshwater. The rest is salt water (97 percent) and glacier ice (two percent).
( Water Center : University of Nebraska , Lincoln 2005)

 2. Lake Superior is the biggest freshwater lake in the world—if you’re considering surface area (32,000 square miles or 82,000 km&sup2;). Lake Superior is the second largest freshwater lake in the world if you go by volume— Lake Baikal in Siberia is the biggest.

3. Water regulates the Earth’s temperature. It also regulates the temperature of the human body, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, cushions joints, and protects organs and tissues. The human brain is 75% water. Human blood is 83% water and bones are 25% water.  (American Water Works Association) (

 4. In a one hundred year period, an average water molecule spends 98 years in the ocean, 20 months as ice, about two weeks in lakes and rivers, and less than a week in the atmosphere. (

 5. Lake Superior contains 10% of the earth’s surface freshwater.

 6. At least 1 billion people must walk three hours or more to obtain drinking water. Nearly 2% of U.S. homes have no running water. In Mexico , 15% of the population must haul or carry water.  (National Geographic Society) (

 7. The major source of pollution in towns and cities is rainwater that flows into street catch basins (called urban runoff or storm water runoff). While the rainwater alone is not necessarily harmful, it frequently carries untreated waste products from our streets and yards directly to rivers, lakes and streams.

 8. Fed by over 300 rivers and streams, Lake Superior contains 3 quadrillion gallons of freshwater—that is enough to flood all of North and South America to a depth of one foot.

 9. It could easily cost between 500 and 2,000 gallons of water to produce a typical American meal. On average, it takes about 1.6 million gallons of water to feed one American for a year.  (

 10. Groundwater can stay polluted for several thousand years.