This is a collaborative, two-part project to compile and analyze resource data to support WLCI efforts. Part 1 entails directing data synthesis and assessment activities to ensure that they will inform and support the WLCI LPDTs and Coordination Team in their conservation planning efforts, such as developing conservation priorities and strategies, identifying priority areas for conservation actions, evaluating and ranking conservation projects, and evaluating spatial and ecological relations between proposed habitat projects and WLCI priorities. In FY2014, we helped the Coordination Team complete the WLCI Conservation Action Plan and BLM’s annual report, and we provided maps and other materials to assist with ranking...
Project Synopsis: the goal of this study is to define the potential accumulation of hydrocarbons in surface waters and aquatic habitats of the New Fork River and to establish a baseline of potential toxicological effects on aquatic life.
Description of Work Participation on the Lake Erie Lakewide Management Plan Workgroup and related subcommittees such as toxics, sources and loads, nutrients, and biodiversity. Attend meetings and conferences associated with LE LAMP activities. This includes The Lake Erie Millennium Network, CSMI, Ohio Phosphorus Task Force, and other meetings or workshops addressing nutrient and toxicity issues in Lake Erie. Communicate USGS activities in the Lake Erie Basin that can influence understanding or impact decision making.
Description of Work To date many meetings have been attended and coalitions developed between USGS Water Mission area and NYSDEC and EPA region 2 which have spun off into several other monitoring and BUI delisting projects funded by Region 2 through the USGS/EPA IA. This has been a perfect example of leveraging USGS GLRI funds to develop additional GLRI-related program for the Lake Ontario LaMP partners, especially for tributary nutrient and sediment loading to Lake Ontario and helping collect and assess the data needed to remove BUI impairments at the Rochester Embayment and St. Lawrence/Massena AOCs for benthos and phytoplankton impairments.
Description of Work USGS scientists provide expertise, capacity and support for the implementation of Lakewide Management Plans (LaMPs) and the associated goals, objectives and targets for each of the Great Lakes, including Lake Superior. The LaMPs are critical binational groups that are important for promoting Great Lakes restoration. Specifically, LaMP efforts include compiling monitoring and research information into the Great Lakes web mapper (SiGL Mapper). The Mapper’s focus is on information that will result in recognition of areas where data are being collected, missing or sparse, and on areas where ecosystems are vulnerable.
Fire in the western U.S. poses one of the greatest threats to human and ecological communities alike. In fact, fire management is the largest single expenditure of land management funds on federal lands. Now, climate change is altering wildfire patterns. Climate change in the West is creating warmer and drier conditions, resulting in an increase in the amount of dead vegetation available to fuel fires. This project sought to assess the vulnerability of forests in the southwestern U.S. to climate change and wildfire, in order to understand how these ecosystems might become altered as a result. Researchers (a) examined how climate change impacts wildfires in the region, to better understand fire risk; (b) identified...
Effectiveness Monitoring - Soil Chemistry: Relationships between Energy Exploration/Development and Salinity of Soils and Waters
Effectiveness Monitoring Effectiveness monitoring was implemented to evaluate the efficacy of habitat treatments and to broadly assess the regional effects of conservation, mitigation, and other management activities coordinated through this initiative. Work has included collecting data associated with past and current habitat treatments (for example, herbicide treatments in sagebrush) to: • assess their effectiveness in meeting WLCI habitat conservation goals, and • help guide the design of future habitat treatments and Best Management Practices. Effectiveness Monitoring included measuring vegetation and soil responses to treatments, developing methods for using remotely sensed estimates of productivity to evaluate...
The Coastal Carolinas Focus Area Study (CC FAS) examines water availability and use to meet competing societal and ecological needs in Southeastern Atlantic Coastal Basins of the Carolinas. The study area is focused along the coastline of the Carolinas, extending from Georgetown, South Carolina to Wilmington, North Carolina, and includes lower parts of the Cape Fear River and Pee Dee River basins. Projected changes in population, land-use, and climate is expected to place significant stress on water resources in the Coastal Carolinas. To investigate impacts from these stressors, this study was divided into five distinct components: (1) Societal Water-Use Data Compilation and Refinement, (2) Land-use, Population,...
The Lakewide Management Plans (LaMPs) within the Great Lakes region are examples of broad-scale, collaborative resource-management efforts that require a sound ecosystems approach. Yet, the LaMP process is lacking a holistic framework that allows these individual actions to be planned and understood within the broader context of the Great Lakes ecosystem. To help this issue, a conceptual framework for Lake Michigan Coastal/Nearshore Ecosystems was developed to address for major LaMP goals; Can we drink the water?, Can we eat the fish?, Can we swim in the water?, Are all habitats healthy, naturally diverse, and sufficient to sustain viable biological communities?