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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New York: Development of the Nine Element Plan

New York State (NYS) 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). The Lake Erie Watershed Protection Alliance (LEWPA), in partnership with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), is developing a Nine Element (9E) Watershed Plan to maintain the “Interim Substance Objective for Total Phosphorous Concentration in Open Waters of Eastern Basin of Lake Erie.”

New York: Reduced residential fertilizer use

New York State (NYS) implemented a ban on phosphorus-containing residential fertilizers in 2016 and will continue its active enforcement/surveillance program to monitor the compliance of residential fertilizer retailers.

Ohio: Manure incorporation

Mixing manure into the soil to keep it in place and minimize nutrient loss.

Ohio: Conservation crop rotation

Planting certain crops that reduce erosion and enrich the soil thus reducing runoff and sediment delivery.

Ohio: Cover Crops

When planted after the main harvest, cover crops reduce erosion, hold nutrients in the soil, and improve soil health.

Ohio: Water Quality Monitoring: Rain Gages

In northwest Ohio, precipitation data is relatively corase due to the distance from regional Doppler weather radars and a current lack of rain gage density. Twenty new rain gages will fill a critical gap in precipitation data.

Ohio: Home sewage treatment system repair and replacement

State funding through H2Ohio is available for local counties and health departments to repair or replace failing home sewage treatment systems (HSTSs). Since 2016, funding has also been awarded to local counties and health departments to direct funding assistance to eligible homeowners.

Ohio: Water infrastructure in underserved areas

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency funds infrastructure projects through H2Ohio that will improve water quality, which includes extending sewers to areas with high concentrations of failing home sewage treatment systems. The first project in the Lake Erie basin will construct a new waterwater collection and treatment system in Kunkle, Ohio, within the Maumee River watershed.

Ohio: Watershed plans with far-field phosphorus targets

Watershed planning helps identify critical areas, set local goals, and coordinate implementation of conservation practices. Development of news plans are underway in 26 HUC12 Maumee River watersheds to identify load reduction opportunities and establish far-field phosphorus targets at the watershed level. Far-field planning efforts look to meet overarching Annex 4 nutrient reduction goals, rather than goals for localized impairments. Existing plans will be updated to incorporate far-field phosphorus targets.