Presentation on theme: "Critical Issues Affecting Lake Erie and OSU Sea Grant/Stone Lab Efforts to Address Them Dr. Jeffrey M. Reutter Director, Ohio Sea Grant College Program."— Presentation transcript:
1 Critical Issues Affecting Lake Erie and OSU Sea Grant/Stone Lab Efforts to Address Them Dr. Jeffrey M. ReutterDirector, Ohio Sea Grant College Program
2 Jeffrey M. Reutter, Ph.D., Director 1895—F.T. Stone Laboratory1970—Center for Lake Erie Area Research (CLEAR)1978—Ohio Sea Grant College Program1992—Great Lakes Aquatic Ecosystem Research Consortium (GLAERC)Grad student at Stone Lab in 1971 and never left. Director since 1987.2
3 Lake Erie’s Biggest Problems/Issues SedimentationPhosphorus and nutrient loadingHarmful algal bloomsWestern, Central, and Eastern Basin DifferencesDifferent problems in different lakes (possibly more difficult than Lake Erie)Aquatic invasive speciesDead Zone—exacerbated by nutrientsClimate Change—Makes the others worse
11 Because of Land Use, Lake Erie Gets: More sedimentMore 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!!!
12 50:2 Rule (Not exact, but instructive) Lake Superior: 50% of the water and 2% of the fishLake Erie: 2% of the water and 50% of the fish
13 Lake Erie: One of the Most Important Lakes in the World Dead lake image of 60s and 70s.Poster child for pollution problems in this country.But, most heavily utilized of any of the Great Lakes.Shared by 5 states, a province, and 2 countries.Best example of ecosystem recovery in world.
14 Lake Erie wasn’t always the Walleye Capital of the World June 22, 1969Lake Erie wasn’t always the Walleye Capital of the World
15 Blue-green Algae Bloom circa 1971, Lake Erie Photo: Forsythe and Reutter
16 What brought about the rebirth (dead lake to Walleye Capital)? Phosphorus reductions from point sources (29,000 metric tons to 11,000).
17 Major Sources of Phosphorus Lawn fertilizer—going downSewage treatment plants and CSO’sNon-point source runoff from urbanNon-point source runoff from agriculture1970s—2/3 poor sewage treatmentToday—2/3 agricultural runoff
18 Why did we target phosphorus? Normally limiting nutrient in freshwater systemsP reduction is best strategy ecologically and economicallyReducing both P and N would help
19 Impact of Ecosystem Recovery (rebirth) Ohio walleye harvest 112,000 in 1976 to over 5 million by mid-80s34 charter fishing businesses in 1975 to over by mid-80s and almost 800 today207 coastal businesses to over 425 today
20 Major groups/kinds in Lake Erie Mention summer blooms of diatoms, taste and odor issuesDiatomsGreensBlue-greens(Cyanobacteria)Source: Tom Bridgeman, UT
21 Dioxin ( mg/kg-d)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)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)Botulinum toxin A (0.001 mg/kg-d)Toxin Reference DosesToxicity of Algal Toxins Relative to Other Toxic Compounds found in WaterReference 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.
22 Microcystin Concentrations 1 ppb WHO drinking water limit20 ppb WHO swimming limit60 ppb highest level for Lake Erie till 201184 ppb highest level for Grand Lake St. Marys till 20102000+ Grand Lake St. Marys 20101200 Lake Erie Maumee Bay area 2011
23 Impacts of Increased Phosphorus Concentrations HABs—If P concentrations are high (regardless of the source, Ag, sewage, etc.) and water is warm, we will have a HAB (nitrogen concentration will likely determine which of the 7-10 species bloom)Nuisance Algae BloomsCladophora—Whole lake problem. An attached form.Winter algal bloomsDead Zone in Central Basin
24 11 years of satellite data provide bloom extent highData fromMERIS , MODIS 2012mediumTo get the annual peak intensity we look at 30 days,Here is the CI ~ 10^5 cells/ml, which is considered the thresholdAbove 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
25 Are HABs only a Lake Erie and Ohio Problem? Serious problem in US and Canada21 states and Canada in 2012Global problemChaired Loadings and Concentrations Subcommittee for Ohio P Task ForceNow US Co-Chair of the Objectives and Loadings Task Team of Annex 4 (nutrients) Subcommittee of GLWQAWeather can determine how we experience a bloom
26 Microcystis, Stone Lab, 8/10/10 Photos: Jeff Reutter
29 2013 was severely underestimated. Stumpf cyano-index for each year with Model result and predictions for 2012 and 2013.2013 was severely underestimated.observedmodeledSpring (Mar-June) discharge relationship for seasonal prediction bloom was much higher than any of the models would predict (2012 was only slightly higher, note the log scale).
30 Possible Reasons for Underestimate Cool spring temperaturesHigh P load in JulyHigh load of nitrogen preventing summer nitrogen limitationSo many Microcystis cells on the lake bottom now from previous blooms that it is easier for a bloom to occur.
31 What was different in 2013? SRP (m.tons) in July. 2003, 2008, 2013 were high,One possibility, and 2008 had cold June < 20 degC, not optimal for cyano growth had optimal June temp of ~21 degC.2013 June temp was also “normal”(No difference in July.)
32 2013 prediction for western Lake Erie: similar to 2003, <1/5 of 2011, 2X 2012 2011 for comparison2013 may resemble 2003lowmediumhighConcentration
34 October 12, 2013R. Stumpf, NOAA National Center for Coastal Ocean Science
35 2013 Only blooms in 2011 and 2013 extended well into October. Toxins appeared in treated drinking water in 2013.Carroll Treatment Plant shut down—bottled waterToledo and Erie Co. say can’t guarantee safe drinking water in futureNo national or state guidelines on algal toxins—but may be comingMeris vs. Modis Satellite LimitationsGreater recognition of of their role by agriculture community, but clearly not enough action.When nutrients leave fields they are pollutants.
36 Target Loads to Solve Problem Leading subcommittee of the Ohio Phosphorus Task Force to identify both spring and annual target loads of both total P and DRP (Reutter comment) to prevent or greatly reduce HABsTarget is 40% reduction
37 Expect Rapid Recovery in Lake Erie Due to rapid flush out rateLake Erie = 2.7 yearsWestern Basin = daysOther Great Lakes could be over 100 years
38 Climate change is making these problems worse! Warm water increases oxygen depletion ratesMore severe storms will resuspend more sediment and increase erosion and nutrient loadingCritically important point—with no changes in Ag practices, warmer weather and increased frequency of severe storms could increase negative impact of existing practices.Lake levels—uncertain/probably downWarm water favors HABs
39 Nutrient Loading Majority of loading occurs during storm events 80-90% of loading occurs 10-20% of time2012 = dry spring and low load—a very good thing!!
41 Increased Frequency of Rainstorms Changes in frequencies of storms in the Midwest, by category of storm size for five decades, through Labeled changes are for the last decade. Comparisons are to frequencies in Source: Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and Natural Resources Defense Council.
42 Stone Lab: Reducing Our Environmental Footprint Solar thermal on Dining HallSolar panels on new pavilion and Lab roofLow-flow toiletsLow-flow shower heads and faucetsCompact fluorescent light bulbsAttic insulation4-cycle outboard motorsImproved sewage treatmentTerraces to reduce runoff
43 Sea Grant Research Projects Beneficial reuse of dredged material in manufactured soil blending: Economic/logistical and performance considerationsPI: Elizabeth Dayton, Ohio State University Impacts of climate change on public health in the Great Lakes due to harmful algae bloomsPI: Jay Martin, Ohio State University Should nitrogen be managed in Lake Erie? The potential role of nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteriPI: Darren Bade, Kent State University Leveraging natural amenities for sustainable development in the Great Lakes regionPI: Elena Irwin, The Ohio State UniversitySource tracking and toxigenicity of Planktothrix in Sandusky BayPI: George S. Bullerjahn, Bowling Green State University Mapping drain tile and modeling agricultural contribution to nonpoint source pollution in the western Lake Erie basinPI: Kevin Czajkowski, University of ToledoThe role of nitrogen concentration in regulating cyanobacterial bloom toxicity in a eutrophic lakePI: Justin Chaffin, Ohio State UniversityDelivery of sediment amendments using far-field ultrasoundPI: Linda K. Weavers, Ohio State UniversityRelative contributions of hypoxia and natural gas drilling to methane emissions from Lake EriePI: Amy Townsend-Small, University of Cincinnati
44 Outreach Activities 22,000 visitors to Aquatic Visitors Center Media Coverage403 articles from 158 different publications/venues in 2013 about our programsStone Lab WorkshopsTwine Line ArticlesPersonal speaking engagementsOver 50 last year
45 Stone Lab 1 or 2-Day Workshops 10 July, NOAA HAB Press Conference, Science Cruise and Webinar23 July, USDA Rural Development State Directors from twelve Midwest states24 July, Ohio Farm Bureau Group24 July, REU Presentations14 & 15 August, 2 groups of Michigan farmers18-19 August, Science Writers 2-day workshop20 & 26 August, Coastal County Commissioners, Mayors, and Decision Makers Day on Lake Erie25 August, Ohio Charter Captains27 August, Indiana Farming Leaders5-7 September, Annual Open House (approx 1,200 visitors)
46 For more information: Dr. Jeff Reutter, Director Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab Ohio State Univ Kinnear Rd. Col, OH ohioseagrant.osu.eduStone Laboratory Ohio State Univ. Box 119 Put-in-Bay, OH