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Lake Superior

Map of Lake SuperiorLake Superior is a vast fresh water resource that has not experienced the same levels of development, urbanization and pollution as the other Great Lakes. Recognizing the unique qualities of this resource, the United States and Canada are working to restore and protect the Lake Superior Basin. Their focus is the entire Lake Superior ecosystem - air, land and water – to restore degraded areas and protect this unique headwater lake for the people and wildlife that use it. 

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About Lake Superior

  • The largest by volume
  • The deepest and coldest
  • Retention time = 191 years (a measure based on the volume of water in the lake and the mean rate of outflow)
  • Most of the Superior basin is forested, with little agriculture because of a cool climate and poor soils.
  • Sparse population
  • Relatively few pollutants enter Lake Superior, except through airborne transport
  • The shoreline and islands that rim the lake stretch 2,726 miles

Average Depth*: 483 ft.
Maximum Depth*: 1,332 ft.
Volume*: 2,900 cubic mi.
Water Area: 31,700 sq. mi.
Land Drainage Area: 49,300 sq. mi.
*  measured at low water

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Environmental Issues

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What is EPA Doing?

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