The Lorax Helped Draw Attention To Lake Erie’s Poor Conditions
The Lorax always has been and will be my favorite work of Dr. Suess. It's quite clear the message that was being sent out about our harmful impact on the environment through industrialization.
But I was just made aware that the original film that was released for the book actually mentioned a Great Lake. Apparently, at the time, Lake Erie was in terrible condition and highly polluted, which prompted the Lorax line:
You’re glumping the pond where the Humming-Fish hum! No more can they hum, for their gills are all gummed! So I’m sending them off. Oh their future is dreary…”Humming-Fish: “…I hear things are just as bad, up in Lake Erie.
It was right about that time that an environmental movement was starting around the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie (as well as the rest of the nation). Scientists and citizens worked hard to clean the river and the lake of trash and pollutants. By the mid-1980s wildlife started to return to the lake, and scientists at Stone Laboratory wrote a letter to Dr. Seuss, sharing with him Lake Erie’s successes. Dr. Seuss read their letter, looked over their data, responded, and would remove the line about Lake Erie from future publications.
How awesome is it this made such a great local impact? I'm definitely thankful for everyone who contributed to the cleaning efforts.