Lake Michigan is the only of the five Great Lakes entirely within the United States. The lake's northern tier is in the colder, less developed upper Great Lakes region, while its more temperate southern basin contains the Milwaukee and Chicago metropolitan areas. The states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin are within its drainage basin. Lake Michigan is hydrologically inseparable from Lake Huron, joined by the wide Straits of Mackinac.
More than 12 million people live along Lake Michigan's shores. The great cities of Chicago and Milwaukee were settled and grew because of their locations on the Lake. The southern tip of the lake is heavily industrialized.
The beaches of Lake Michigan, especially those in Michigan and northern Indiana, are known for their beauty, earning the region the nickname the "Third Coast" of the United States after those of the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Many small communities, especially in northern Michigan, have seasonal variations in their populations based upon tourism. The Lake's environment not only provides recreation, but offers a place of solitude where one can regain his spiritual balance in the midst of a harried life.
The harmonious interaction between man and creation is crucial to the survival of both. Unification belief maintains that while nature was created as an environment of sustenance and joy for man, man is in turn meant to be its caretaker. With the extensive industrialization along Lake Michigan's shores, it is important that we take all means possible to preserve its environment and solve any past pollution problems we've created.