Thursday, May 15, 2008

Storm clouds

A couple days ago, a friend passed along an article that novelist Margaret Atwood wrote in the Toronto Star back on January 19.

The piece is an interesting look at Lake Erie's past, with an emphasis on her famed dark side. In it, Atwood touches on a number of aspects that I looked at in Lake Erie Stories -- shipwrecks, bootleggers, wicked weather and the like -- but her essay is much more than history. The Great Lakes, as is becoming clearer every day, are an extremely delicate ecosystem, and Lake Erie, for a number of reasons, is among the most vulnerable. If we don't start devoting some serious resources to their survival, Atwood argues, we risk losing them, and perhaps ourselves in the process.

Atwood is no stranger to Erie. As she notes in the piece, she and her partner Graeme Gibson are avid birders and have been hitting the lake's birding hotspots for years. They are also a presence on my favourite place on Lake Erie -- Pelee Island. There, they've played a pivotal role in the founding and development of a bird observatory, an organic farm, and a number of other community projects.

Enlightened reading.

To read the full Toronto Star piece, click here.

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