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 Investments

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.

New York: Nuisance and harmful algal bloom research

New York State's Water Quality Rapid Response Team, national experts and local stakeholders collaboratively developed Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Action Plans for twelve priority lakes that are vulnerable to HABs. These twelve lakes represent a wide range of conditions and the lessons learned will be applied to other impacted waterbodies in the state.

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.

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.

New York: Lake Erie tributary monitoring

The Lake Erie watershed has been identified through New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Clean Water Planning Initiative as a high priority for water quality improvement, and Lake Erie is currently the focus of binational efforts under Annex 4 (Nutrients) of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) to assess and reduce nutrient loadings. The objectives of this project are: