• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources


The Great Lakes Basin

The Great Lakes Basin is the land area that accounts for all water flows into the Great Lakes. Of all Canadian and U.S. drainage basins, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence system is socially, environmentally, economically, and historically the most significant. This basin is the responsibility of 40 million residents, the legislatures of  two provinces, eight states, and the federal governments of Canada and the U.S.


The wetlands of the Great Lakes watersheds are crucial to the health of the largest freshwater ecosystem in the world. These wetlands support millions of waterfowl, hundreds of other fish and wildlife species, and play an important role within watersheds to maintain and improve water quality, reduce flooding and recharge groundwater. This area is also home to Canada’s highest concentration of people. More then 18 million Canadians live in the region, and human impacts on wetlands and wildlife habitat are among the highest on the continent. In parts of Southern Ontario, habitat loss is over 90 per cent and wetlands in particular have been adversely affected.





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