Specific activities identified by Lake Erie states, the province, and federal governments within Domestic Action Plans are tracked on ErieStat as Investments.  Tracking these investments will enable the adaptive management of phosphorus control efforts and eventually, provide “big picture” views of phosphorus control Progress.

Investments made in the Lake Erie basin to control phosphorus aren’t expressed only as dollars – it’s also the programs implemented and the people and organizations who implement them. Investments include on-the-ground practices, research and monitoring, infrastructure upgrades, and outreach and education.

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United States: Great Lakes Tributary Monitoring Program

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) conducts monitoring to track changes and identify long-term trends in nutrient and sediment loads to the Great Lakes in 26 major tributaries across the basin.  Eight of these tributaries drain directly to Lake Erie, and two others drain to the St. Clair – Detroit River System.

United States: Enhanced state watershed monitoring program

For an in-depth look at Lake Erie watersheds, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) partners with several state agencies (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) to track changes in nutrient and sediment loads, at specific locations within the watersheds.

United States: Phosphorus-optimal wetlands

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is working in collaboration with other Great Lakes stakeholders interested in using wetlands for phosphorus reduction, including The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, academic institutions, and other federal agencies. Research and an engineering evaluation will inform decision-making about the potential for treatment wetlands to be a significant part of controlling phosphorus from agricultural runoff in the Great Lakes.

United States: In-lake monitoring

The U.S. EPA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are working on a variety of activities to monitor and asses water quality, while also working to develop tools to forecast harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.

United States: Linking Soil Health Assessment to Edge of Field Water Quality in the Great Lakes Basin

This is a partnership among USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Department of Natural & Applied Sciences, Purdue University's Department of Agronomy, and the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Water Science Centers in New York and Wisconsin. The partners will conduct soil health assessments in conjunction with edge-of-field (EoF) water quality monitoring projects established in the GLRI Priority Watersheds.

Indiana: The City of Fort Wayne Long Term Control Plan and Tunnel Works Project

Combined sanitary sewage and stormwater runoff that would otherwise be discharged to the St. Marys and Maumee Rivers will be collected and temporarily stored in an approximately 5-mile long tunnel. The combined sewage and stormwater will be treated after the wet weather event has ended and the wastewater treatment plant has sufficient capacity.

Indiana: Improved septic system processes

Septic system installation, operation, maintenance, and repair will follow site-specific design regulations. Septic system failure rates will be tracked.

Indiana: Allen County Soil and Water Conservation District Upper Maumee P-Risk Pilot Project

The Allen County Soil and Water Conservation District, in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture will develop, promote, and implement a phosphorus risk reduction pilot program for agricultural best management practices (BMPs) in critical area subwatersheds in the Upper Maumee River watershed.

Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program

The primary tool for working with agriculture in Michigan's portion of the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) is the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).  MAEAP is an innovative, proactive program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities voluntarily minimize agricultural pollution risks. MAEAP was developed by a coalition of farmers, commodity groups, state and federal agencies, and conservation and environmental groups.

Michigan: Identify priority areas and actions in Michigan’s portion of the Maumee River Watershed for phosphorus reductions

Only a small portion (about 7 percent) of the Maumee watershed lies within Michigan’s borders. Michigan is partnering with Indiana, Ohio, the U.S. EPA, and the U.S. Geological Survey to ensure appropriate monitoring of the watershed. Though continued monitoring is needed, initial monitoring and analysis has revealed that certain parts of the Maumee watershed in Michigan have higher phosphorus concentrations than others.