New York State was not required to prepare a Domestic Action Plan (DAP), as binational phosphorus targets have not been established for the eastern basin under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). However, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will develop a Nine Element Plan to maintain the “Interim Substance Objective for Total Phosphorous Concentration in Open Waters of Eastern Basin of Lake Erie.”

Photo: New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

The Nine Element Plan is a watershed-wide plan that details a community’s water quality concerns and a strategy to address these concerns. This effort will be locally-led by the Lake Erie Watershed Protection Alliance. The plan will:

  • Identify and quantify sources of pollution in the watershed
  • Identify the water quality target and pollution reductions necessary to reach the goal
  • Identify best management practices (BMPs) that will help achieve reductions needed to meet the water quality goal
  • Describe financial and technical assistance needed to implement the identified BMPs
  • Describe stakeholder outreach, explain how their input was incorporated, and include the role of stakeholders in implementing the plan
  • Estimate a schedule to implement the BMPs identified
  • Describe the milestones and estimated timeframes for BMP implementation
  • Identify the criteria that will be used to assess water quality improvement as the plan in implemented
  • Describe the monitoring plan to collect water quality data that will be used to measure improvements in water quality

The Lake Erie Watershed Protection Alliance has completed the Watershed Characterization Sections of the Lake Erie Nine Element Watershed Plan.  They continue to engage their project advisory group, municipalities and other organizations in development of the plan. Efforts are underway to secure the additional funding needed to complete the plan