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Lake Erie Update Dr. Jeffrey M. Reutter

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Presentation on theme: "Lake Erie Update Dr. Jeffrey M. Reutter"— Presentation transcript:

1 Lake Erie Update--2013 Dr. Jeffrey M. Reutter
Director, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

2 Blue-green Algae Bloom circa 1971, Lake Erie
Photo: Forsythe and Reutter

3 Lake Erie wasn’t always the Walleye Capital of the World
June 22, 1969 Lake Erie wasn’t always the Walleye Capital of the World

4 What brought about the rebirth (dead lake to Walleye Capital)?
Phosphorus reductions from point sources (29,000 metric tons to 11,000).


6 2012 TP loading during March-June 2012 was one of the lowest on record, resulting in a much smaller algal bloom. Spring TP load, Maumee R. The springtime P load is the most predictive of summer algal blooms Source: Tom Bridgeman, UT

7 Microcystis, Stone Lab, 8/10/10
Photos: Jeff Reutter

8 October 9, 2011 Photo: NOAA Satellite Image

9 Microcystis near Marblehead
October 9, 2011 Photo: Richard Kraus, United States Geological Survey

10 Microcystis, Stone Lab, 9/20/13

11 2013 Microcystis open water bloom
The springtime P load is the most predictive of summer algal blooms 2013 open water bloom was second only to 2011 over last 12 years. Source: Tom Bridgeman, UT.

12 2013 Forecast: Significant bloom
2013 Forecast: Significant bloom. similar to 2003, much milder than 2011 2013

13 Toxin Reference Doses Dioxin ( mg/kg-d) Toxicity of Algal Toxins Relative to Other Toxic Compounds found in Water Microcystin LR ( mg/kg-d) Saxitoxin ( mg/kg-d) PCBs ( mg/kg-d) Cylindrospermopsin ( mg/kg-d) Methylmercury ( mg/kg-d) Anatoxin-A ( mg/kg-d) DDT ( mg/kg-d) Selenium (0.005 mg/kg-d) Botulinum toxin A (0.001 mg/kg-d) Reference Dose = amount that can be ingested orally by a person, above which a toxic effect may occur, on a milligram per kilogram body weight per day basis. Alachlor (0.01 mg/kg-d) Cyanide (0.02 mg/kg-d) Atrazine (0.04 mg/kg-d) Fluoride (0.06 mg/kg-d) Chlorine (0.1 mg/kg-d) Aluminum (1 mg/kg-d) Ethylene Glycol (2 mg/kg-d)

14 Are HABs only a Lake Erie and Ohio Problem?
Serious problem in US and Canada 21 states and Canada in 2012 Global problem Chaired Loadings and Targets Subcommittee for Ohio P Task Force Now US Co-Chair of the Loadings and Targets Task Team of Annex 4 (nutrients) Subcommittee of GLWQA Weather can determine how we experience a bloom

15 11 years of satellite data provide bloom extent
high medium To get the annual peak intensity we look at 30 days, Here is the CI ~ 10^5 cells/ml, which is considered the threshold Above which toxic impacts are likely. (These are yellow to red colors) The highest average of 3 consecutive 10-day periods. Very little change between years in Sandusky Bay. Considerable difference between years in western Basin. These are tallied up for total intensity for inter-annual analysis. low Data from MERIS , MODIS 2012

16 2013 prediction for western Lake Erie: similar to 2003, <1/5 of 2011, 2X 2012
2011 for comparison 2013 may resemble 2003 low medium high concentration

17 9/14/13

18 October 12, 2013 R. Stumpf, NOAA National Center for Coastal Ocean Science

19 2013 Only blooms in 2011 and 2013 extended well into October.
Toxins appeared in treated drinking water in 2013. Meris vs. Modis Limitations Greater recognition of of their role by agriculture community, but clearly not enough action. When nutrients leave fields they are pollutants. Goal should be no nutrients leaving fields

20 1972 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
Signed by President Nixon & Prime Minister Trudeau Purpose: Control Pollution Research Problems Measure Cleanup Progress Standing Reference (Task) for IJC Established Great Lakes Regional Office in Windsor & advisory boards Results: Ban of phosphorus in detergents, increased treatment levels, point source controls & dramatic improvements Agreement of the governments Reference given to the IJC to review and report on progress of the Parties Particular emphasis on evaluating and providing advise Unique treaty responsibility to assist in implementation of the Agreement Identify challenges and make recommendations for facilitating progress

21 New Agreement Signed in 2012
June 2009 The U.S and Canada agree to renegotiate the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement

22 Great Lakes Water Qual Agreement--2012
10 Annexes Each annex has several Task Teams Gail and I serve on Annex 4—Nutrients I am US Co-chair the Objectives and Loadings Task Team Nutrient problems are different in each basin of Lake Erie and in each Great Lake I also serve on Annex 2—LaMPs

23 For more information: Dr. Jeff Reutter, Director
Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab Ohio State Univ. 1314 Kinnear Rd. Col, OH 43212 Stone Laboratory Ohio State Univ. Box 119 Put-in-Bay, OH

24 Southernmost
Image: Ohio Sea Grant

25 Shallowest and Warmest

26 Photo: Ohio Sea Grant

27 80:10:10 Rule 80% of water from upper lakes 10% direct precipitation
10% from Lake Erie tributaries Maumee Largest tributary to Great Lakes Drains 4.5 million acres of ag land 3% of flow into Lake Erie

28 Major Land Uses in The Great Lakes

29 Therefore, The 80% we get from the upper lakes and the 10% that represents precipitation is likely much cleaner than the 10% that comes in from the small tributaries around Lake Erie. Why—those lakes have lots of forest cover and very little agriculture.

30 Because of Land Use, Lake Erie Gets:
More sediment More nutrients (fertilizers and sewage) More pesticides (The above 3 items are exacerbated by storms, which will be more frequent and severe due to climate change.) And Lake Erie is still biologically the most productive of the Great Lakes—And always will be!!

31 50:2 Rule Lake Superior: 50% of the water and 2% of the fish
(Not exact, but instructive) Lake Superior: % of the water and 2% of the fish Lake Erie: 2% of the water and 50% of the fish

32 Lake Erie’s 7 Biggest Problems/Issues (see Twine Line, Spring/Summer, 2012)
Sedimentation Phosphorus and nutrient loading Harmful algal blooms Western, Central, and Eastern Basin Differences Different problems in different lakes (possibly more difficult than Lake Erie) Aquatic invasive species Dead Zone—exacerbated by nutrients Climate Change—Makes the others worse Coastal Economic Development

33 Events Leading to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
Rapid industrial growth - excessive nutrient loading, high algal growth, low oxygen & massive fish kills 1946 IJC Reports on Pollution of Connecting Channels (1950) DDT and other pesticides cause deformities; reproductive failure in fish and birds 1964 IJC Reports on Pollution in Lake Erie & Lower Lakes (1970) Lake Erie declared dead & Cuyahoga River Fire (1969) Intense public outcry over the environment

34 Organization 3 international agreements between U.S. and Canada serve as platform for managing most water resources Three international agreements have been established between the U.S. and Canada to provide for the shared management of the Great Lakes resources. These agreements may be viewed as a platform on which the physical, chemical and biological resources are managed. The Boundary Waters Treaty The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement The Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries Not all of the water resources of the Great Lakes are managed under these three agreements, but they do provide a broad umbrella covering the vast majority of resource issues. Today I will talk about the Boundary Waters Treaty and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and how the International Joint Commission works.

35 Oversight & Implementation
The IJC and the Governments share common goals of the agreement, but have different responsibilities. The IJC monitors progress and reports to the governments. The Governments are responsible for implementing the agreement. IJC reports are released to both the governments and the public; the IJC depends upon public opinion to compel government action.

36 Background—CSMI Cooperative Monitoring Initiative (CMI) started in 2002 to coordinate monitoring Expanded mandate of CMI to include research coordination resulted in CSMI in 2006 In 2009, connecting channels (including St. Lawrence) were added to CSMI process CSMI follows a 5 year rotational cycle CSMI does NOT set priorities

37 Rotational CSMI Cycle CSMI Cycle Huron Ontario Lake Superior Erie
Michigan* CSMI Cycle * Canada will participate in another lake

38 Ohio Sea Grant Projects 2014-16
R/MD-002 Beneficial reuse of dredged material in manufactured soil blending: Economic/logistical and performance considerations PI: Elizabeth Dayton, Ohio State University  R/ES-012  Impacts of climate change on public health in the Great Lakes due to harmful algae blooms PI: Jay Martin, Ohio State University R/ER-097 Should nitrogen be managed in Lake Erie? The potential role of nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria PI: Darren Bade, Kent State University    R/ER-104 Source tracking and toxigenicity of Planktothrix in Sandusky Bay PI: George S. Bullerjahn, Bowling Green State University R/PS-049 Mapping drain tile and modeling agricultural contribution to nonpoint source pollution in the western Lake Erie basin PI: Kevin Czajkowski, University of Toledo R/ER-103 The role of nitrogen concentration in regulating cyanobacterial bloom toxicity in a eutrophic lake PI: Justin Chaffin, Ohio State University

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