Science

To better manage the Lake Erie environment, a science-based approach is needed to understand the ecosystems. In this section, you will find information about research projects, nutrients within the Lake Erie basin.

 

Research

As the shallowest and the most biologically diverse of all the Great Lakes, the Lake Erie ecosystem is unique. It supports one of the largest freshwater fisheries in the world and provides many recreational and tourism opportunities due to the presence of numerous beaches and extensive wetland complexes.The entire Lake Erie basin is home to over 11 million people. It is sensitive to pressures from urban and rural land uses, such as excessive nutrient inputs, habitat loss and degradation and the introduction of nonnative invasive species. A variety of research activities are being conducted by different organizations to tackle the challenge of managing this variable and sensitive ecosystem. Read More...

 

Nutrients

Beginning in the 1970s, the trend to increasing nutrient loads and worsening algal conditions in Lake Erie was reversed, consistent with the GLWQA (Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement) objectives. During that period,most of the damage occurred in Lake Erie’s western basin and, subsequently, water quality improvements were most prevalent there. By the 1990s, phosphorus concentrations were one half of their former levels in the western basin with smaller improvements in the central and eastern basins. However, despite tremendous efforts, total phosphorus concentrations in the western basin remained high enough to stimulate occasional algal blooms. In recent years,these blooms seem to have become worse. Read More...