About Lake Erie

Why Help Lake Erie?

Lake Erie is a vital resource that provides drinking water for 11 million residents. Lake Erie is the most biologically productive of the Great Lakes and its walleye fishery is widely considered the best in the world.

Nutrient runoff leading to harmful algae blooms, pollution, invasive species, loss of wetlands, and many other factors threaten the health of our lake. The Lake Erie Foundation (LEF) advocates for wise resource management approaches to ensure clean water for future generations.

Lake Erie Foundation

LEF is Lake Erie’s advocate for economic sustainability, legal defense, education, outreach, and innovative sustainable technology. Our mission is to create and maintain a healthy Lake Erie, now and forever.

LEF was established in 2016 to improve and protect the waters of Lake Erie following historic and devastating harmful algae blooms in 2011 and 2015, and the 2014 shutdown of the greater Toledo area’s water supply due to toxins generated from the blooms.

We invite interested advocates to join our mission. Work is underway among various agencies and organizations to restore and protect our lake. The LEF is the only foundation whose sole mission is to ensure healthy Lake Erie. For more information, visit www.lakeeriefoundation.org.

How We Save The Lake

LEF collaborates with Lake Erie stakeholders (legislators, scientists, state agencies, and others) to work on issues that improve and protect the Lake Erie water quality and aquatic habitat. We strive for effective, science-based solutions to address pollution and other threats degrading Lake Erie and its contributing rivers, streams and ditch networks.

  • Lake Erie is enjoyed and beloved by millions of people
  • Bordering Nations: Canada and the United States share this body of water
  • Five Bordering States / Province: Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Ontario

More Lake Erie Statistics

Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake (by surface area) of the  five Great Lakes in North America, and the eleventh-largest globally if measured in terms of surface area. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore also has the shortest average water residence time. At its deepest point, Lake Erie is 210 feet deep.

Want to learn more about Lake Erie?  Click here for a short three-minute video.

Situated on the International Boundary between Canada and the United States, Lake Erie’s northern shore is the Canadian province of Ontario, with the U.S. states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York on its western, southern, and eastern shores. These jurisdictions divide the surface area of the lake with water boundaries

Lake Erie (42.2° N, 81.2W) has a mean elevation of 571 feet above sea level. It has a surface area of 9,990 square miles with a length of 241 statute miles and breadth of 57 statute miles at its widest points.

Also because of its shallowness, and in spite of being the warmest lake in the summer, it is also the first to freeze in the winter. The waves build very quickly. Major cities along Lake Erie include Buffalo; Erie, Pennsylvania; Toledo, Ohio; and Cleveland, Ohio.

Photo provided by Carrie Jennings

Photo provided by Carrie Jennings

How does Lake Erie Compare With Lakes Worldwide?