Key actions under this strategy include:

  • Enhance in-lake monitoring of algae and hypoxic conditions and research on the factors contributing to these conditions;
  • Improve monitoring of phosphorus loads in tributaries and watersheds;
  • Invest in research and demonstration initiatives to improve knowledge and understanding of the effectiveness of BMPs, particularly BMPs to control soluble reactive phosphorus;
  • Conduct research on factors driving toxicity in harmful algal blooms, including the role of nitrogen; and
  • Apply ecosystem models to improve our ability to predict future ecosystem conditions.

A top binational priority is to conduct the necessary research, monitoring and modeling necessary to assess the effectiveness of phosphorus reduction actions on improving algae and hypoxia conditions in Lake Erie and track progress towards achievement of the phosphorus reduction targets and Lake Erie Objectives. Collaboration is needed by scientists from across the basin to assess conditions, identify science gaps and identify the research needed to fill those gaps. Furthermore, research and monitoring of nuisance benthic algae (Cladophora) must be coordinated to support the development of phosphorus reduction targets in eastern Lake Erie.



Related Content

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. The long-term goal of the project is to document and help build understanding of the relationships between soil health conservation practices and water quality effects of those. The focus of this project is to establish:

  • standardized, in-field soil health monitoring protocols for USGS EoF sites
  • to create a robust baseline dataset of soil health at USGS EoF sites
  • to connect field-scale soil health parameters with the water quality leaving these fields.

Ohio: CSO Loadings

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, along with other local partners, conduct monitoring of nutrient discharge levels from priority combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to evaluate seasonal and annual loads. 

New York: Nuisance and harmful algal bloom research

New York State has established and implemented various programs and initiatives to research water quality issues throughout the state relating to Harmful Algal Blooms. New York State is also committed to participating in the Great Lakes Water Quality Act’s (GLWQA) Annex 4 Cladophora initiatives and research. New York will continue ongoing research efforts on algal blooms both within Lake Erie and other New York waters.

Michigan: Support the development and implementation of approved Watershed Management Plans in the Michigan’s portion of the Western Lake Erie Basin

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy will support the development and implementation of approved watershed management plans (WMPs) in Michigan’s portion of the Maumee River watershed and Michigan's watersheds that discharge directly into western Lake Erie.

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.