The Great Lakes, sometimes disambiguated as the Laurentian Great Lakes, are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada United States border, which connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes Waterway. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, containing 21% of the world's surface fresh water. The total surface is 94,250 square miles (244,106 km), and the total volume (measured at the low water datum) is 5,439 cubic miles (22,671 km). The lakes are sometimes referred to as the North Coast or 'Third Coast' by some citizens of the United States. The lakes have been a major source of trade through this area, and they are home to a large number of aquatic species. Many invasive species have been introduced due to trade in the area, and some threaten the biodiversity of the area.
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