In January 1992, I received a poem, “These Lakes Are Your Lakes,” from Jack Vallentyne, aka Johnny Biosphere. He explained that his poetic effort had been inspired by the concluding remarks from my 1983 presentation, “On completing an 11 year appointment to the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission.” My conclusion expressed that we should consider the lakes as per Woodie Guthrie's famous lyrics, “This land is your land, this land is my land” so that everyone would think, “These lakes are your lakes, these lakes are my lakes, these lakes were made for you and me” (for full lyrics see http://www.arlo.net/resources/lyrics/this-land.shtml). Eight years passed before Jack's inspiration resurfaced in the form of the song given below:

THESE LAKES ARE YOUR LAKES

Johnny Biosphere

These lakes are your lakes.
These lakes are my lakes.
From the Long Point marshes to the Nipigon highlands
From the Michigan sand dunes to the Thousand Islands
These lakes were made for you and me.
And there beside me in those clear mirrors
Came summer breezes and autumn colours
And winter snow storms and springtime flowers
They said: These lakes were made for you and me.
Above Niagara I stood in wonder
At the rush of water and the roar of thunder
And way down under I heard her whisper
These lakes were made for you and me.
The Sun was shining, white clouds were drifting
And eagles soaring and rivers throbbing
And fish romancing, the whole Earth dancing
These lakes were made for you and me.
From the Long Point marshes to the Nipigon highlands
From the Michigan sand dunes to the Thousand Islands
These lakes were made for you and me.… yes:
These lakes were made for you and me.

Ahoy, Johnny Biosphere—The Great Lakes ecosystem and each of its inhabitants appreciate and value your commitment, efforts and resultant legacy. Thank you.