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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is identifying the types and locations of emerging and legacy toxic contaminants in the water and sediments at 59 major tributaries to the Great Lakes (including many Area of Concern sites). This information is needed to help prioritize watersheds for restoration, develop strategies to reduce contaminants, and measure the success of those efforts in meeting restoration goals. The USGS contaminant and virus tributary monitoring network follows the National Monitoring Network for Coastal Waters design. The monitoring effort includes collecting emerging contaminant samples at 17 sites, a subset of the 30 nutrient monitoring sites; and for human viruses and other waterborne...
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Description of Work USGS will conduct monthly samples of benthic invertebrates, zooplankton, and water quality as well as seasonal sampling of fish and fish diets. This project supports lower trophic sampling in Lake Erie and understanding food webs. An emphasis will be collecting samples from a nearshore to offshore design.
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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.
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Description of Work In 2014-15 the U.S. Geological Survey and State University of New York at Fredonia characterized the quantity and morphology of floating microplastics in 29 Great Lakes tributaries in 6 states under different hydrologic conditions, wastewater effluent contributions, land uses, and seasons. Tributaries were sampled four times each, during high-flow and low-flow conditions. Samples were collected from the upper 20-30cm of the stream using a 0.33mm mesh neuston net. Microplastic particles were sorted by size, counted, and categorized as fibers/lines, pellets/beads, foams, films, and fragments. References 1. R. C. Thompson et al., Lost at Sea: Where Is All the Plastic? Science. 304, 838 (2004)....
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will provide easily accessible, centrally located, USGS biological, water resources, geological, and geospatial datasets for Great Lakes basin restoration activities coordinated with GLOS. Managers, partners and the public will be able to readily access this information in usable interactive formats to help plan and implement restoration activities. Building tools and infrastructure to support standard data access, efficient data discovery and dynamic mapping of watersheds and their hydrologic properties. Developing decision support tools to enhance scientific investigation or disseminate project findings, for example integrating hydrologic models with real-time...
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This project, a collaborative study involving the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Heidelberg University, focuses on using multi-agency water monitoring data in the Lake Erie basin (fig. 1) and a USGS package of software tools (dataRetrieval and EGRET; Hirsch and De Cicco, 2015 ) to evaluate seasonal and annual phosphorus and nitrogen trends, and to relate observed trends to climate, streamflow, and land-use activities. EGRET utilizes a recently developed trend method, Weighted Regressions on Time, Discharge, and Season (WRTDS; Hirsch and others, 2010 ). WRTDS is designed to remove the effects of year-to-year streamflow variations on nutrient trends and provide improvements over prior conventional trend methods,...
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are focusing on restoring natural water flow and ecological processes between coastal wetlands in the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (Ohio) and adjacent to Lake Erie to improve fish and wildlife habitat. This pilot project will develop approaches that will restore coastal wetland function and increase ecosystem resilience to be used as a model throughout the Great Lakes basin. USGS will focus on restoring natural hydrologic processes in diked coastal wetlands adjacent to Great Lakes waters to improve wetland functions like phosphorus retention and restoration of habitats for fish and wildlife. Sustainable approaches are being developed in the Maumee River...
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Description of Work USGS scientists will develop support to State partners for the removal of Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) such as fish consumption advisories, fish tumor presence, Eutrophication and unwanted algae, drinking water problems, beach health, and concentrations of PCBs in lake trout and walleyes. Areas of Concern (AOC) principles and guidelines were developed as an initial reference point from which appropriate restoration criteria could be developed. Stage 2 Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) were developed for each of these AOCs to address impairments to any one of 14 beneficial uses associated with these areas. Specific remediation actions are completed in order to restore the beneficial use. When...
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Description of Work Determine the relative sensitivity of two species of amphibians (i.e. Wood Frogs Rana sylvatica, Cricket Frogs Acris crepitans blanchardi, American Toad Bufo americana) to exposure to acute and chronic levels of nitrate, nitrite and ammonia. This data will be used to evaluate the current ammonia criteria and for possible inclusion in the development of criteria for nitrite and nitrate.
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Description of Work The invasive form of Phragmites australis (common reed) is a well-established pest in many parts of the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, including designated Areas of Concern. New innovative control options that sustainably target the competitive advantage often enjoyed by Phragmites and other invasive plants will contribute to a broad Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy. This project targets the microorganisms that may help Phragmites spread and will employ a molecular genetic approach to silence the genes in Phragmites that give it a competitive edge over many native plants. This project helped build and will continue to be closely aligned with the Great Lakes Phragmites...
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Description of Work U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) will identify through this project significant sources and impacts of historical and newly emerging toxics to the Great Lakes ecosystem through broad surveillance as well as laboratory and field research of tree swallows and other bird species. USGS scientists will determine the amount of exposure to and the effects of historical and emerging contaminants in Great Lakes food chains. The data will inform regulators and provide guidance on removal of Beneficial Use Impairments at Area of Concern sites around the Great Lakes. Work supported under this project is quantifying exposure to, and effects of, both historical and emerging contaminants on Great Lakes food chains...
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will expand the online availability of geospatial data to monitor the presence and extent of invasive species in wetlands, coastal areas and other sensitive habitats. USGS is working with the Great Lakes Observing System collaboration and other data sharing efforts across the Great Lakes to compile the data into a user friendly format that is accessible on line. Elevation data will be expanded in the Great Lakes Basin using a collaborative to support the GLRI. This information would support invasive species monitoring, wetland inventory, and habitat restoration. USGS will work with the Great Lakes Observing System and other data sharing efforts to make USGS geospatial...
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Tree swallows, Tachycineta bicolor, were sampled across the Great Lakes basin in 2010-2015 to provide a system-wide assessment of current exposure to organic contaminants. These results provide information identified as critical by land managers and regulators to assess the ‘Bird or Animal Deformity or Reproductive Problems’ Beneficial Use Impairment. Eggs were collected from 69 sites across all five Great Lakes, including 27 Areas of Concern (AOCs), some with multiple sites, and ten sites not listed as an AOC. Concentrations of organic contaminants in eggs were quantified and compared to background and reproductive effect thresholds. Approximately one-third of the AOCs had geometric mean concentrations of total...
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Description of Work The GLRI Rivermouths Project (template 82) is designed to enhance our understanding of how rivermouths function at both regional and local scales by 1) developing a rivermouth classification system, based on a broad scale database covering all Great Lakes rivermouths (>2000); 2) creating a science-based understanding of how the ecological structure and function of rivermouths are linked both to the landscapes they drain and to the Lakes with which they mix; and 3) increasing the public and scientific profile of these ecosystems by connecting researchers and natural resource managers through a collaborative dialog. The long-term goal is to provide enhanced guidance for restoration and rehabilitation...
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are improving the health of the Great Lakes sport and commercial fisheries by documenting sources and the determining the processes that control mercury entering food webs, and helping to evaluate the implications for public health. Our scientists will provide decision-makers with a scientific understanding of mercury-source profiles, the relative importance of the various sources, and the expected environmental responses to Great Lakes wasters and fisheries to altered mercury loading and restoration actions. This information is intended to inform and maximize the benefit of the Great Lakes restoration program. The USGS will develop mercury and methylmercury...
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Description of Work The work completed for this template will provide the following information: 1) Generate acute and chronic toxicity data for freshwater mussels and snails to enhance the protection of listed/endangered species in the GL basin; 2) Refine methods and conduct acute and chronic toxicity tests on amphibians; 3) Develop and test methods for conducting chronic toxicity tests for mayflies.
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Contaminant exposure of tree swallows, Tachycineta bicolor, nesting in the Great Lakes basin was assessed in 2010 to 2014. Tree swallow nestlings were collected from 69 sites which included multiple sites at some of the 27 Areas of Concern (AOCs) and at nine non-AOC sites. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDEs) concentrations were measured in nestling stomach contents. Concentrations of PCBs and PBDEs were measured in nestling carcasses. Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) were measured in nestling plasma. Pooled dietary concentrations of total PAHs were highest at the Rouge River, MI AOC (1,856 ng/g wet weight) and lowest at White Lake, MI...
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Description of Work The main objective of this project is to identify locations within the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers that provide the best opportunities for remediation of fish spawning and nursery habitats, with the ultimate goal of enhancing native fish populations. Information about existing river habitat, current patterns, fish nursery areas, movements, spawning, and early life habitat requirements are being used in adaptive management models to identify areas suitable for creation or restoration of fish habitats. Physical and biological information are being coupled to show where and how habitat restoration will produce the strongest benefits to native fishes at multiple locations in the St. Clair and Detroit...
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will use remote sensing data to establish a baseline understanding of current distributions of invasive wetland plants and then forecast potential invasion corridors. Alterations to the Great Lakes shoreline or water-level patterns associated with global climate change could have significant impacts on the extent and composition of coastal habitat. Low lake levels can expose fertile wetland bottomlands to invasive species such as common reed ( Phragmites). Goals & Objectives Goals: Identify current Phragmites distribution in the Great Lakes coastal zone, detect potential areas vulnerable to invasion due to influences such as altered water levels, nutrient and...
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Description of Work In collaboration with 23 local and state agencies, beach-specific models were developed at 43 beaches throughout the Great Lakes region, and data were collected at 6 more beaches for future predictive model development. A predictive modeling workshop was hosted by USGS with instructors from USGS, USEPA, and Wisconsin DNR and included training on the use of USGS-developed data aggregation tools and USEPA’s Virtual Beach. Relevance & Impact Over 56 beaches across the Great Lakes region, in addition to those currently being monitored, will be included in this effort to help meet goals for healthier beaches. Key Findings Analyses were completed for a suite of pathogens at 12 Great Lakes beaches....


map background search result map search result map Enhance Great Lakes beach recreational water quality decision making Lakewide Management Plan Capacity Support by U.S. Geological Survey - LAKE ERIE Geospatial Information for decision support in AOCs and ecosystems Mercury Cycling and Bioaccumulation in the Great Lakes AOC Decision Support Determine Baseline and Sources of Toxic Contaminant Loadings Birds as Indicators of Contaminant Exposure in the Great Lakes Enabling Discovery and Access to USGS Great Lakes Scientific Data Through Web-Based Applications Determination of the Sensitivity of Two Species of Amphibians to Toxicity From Nitrate, Nitrite and Ammonia Toxicity Testing for Stream Dwelling Amphibians, Mussels, and Mayflies Forecasting Potential Phragmites Coastal Invasion Corridors New Strategies for Restoring Coastal Wetland Function, Maumee River Area of Concern Invasive Phragmites: Prevention, Monitoring, and Control Strategies in an Integrated Pest Management Framework Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) - LAKE ERIE Characterizing Rivermouth Ecosystems Fish Habitat Enhancement Strategies for the Huron-Erie Corridor Microplastics in Great Lakes Tributaries Birds as indicators of contaminants in the Great Lakes - Egg Contaminants Data Birds as indicators of contaminants in the Great Lakes Evaluation of stream nutrient trends in the Lake Erie drainage basin in the presence of changing patterns in climate, streamflow, land drainage, and agricultural practices Geospatial Information for decision support in AOCs and ecosystems New Strategies for Restoring Coastal Wetland Function, Maumee River Area of Concern Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) - LAKE ERIE Lakewide Management Plan Capacity Support by U.S. Geological Survey - LAKE ERIE Fish Habitat Enhancement Strategies for the Huron-Erie Corridor Evaluation of stream nutrient trends in the Lake Erie drainage basin in the presence of changing patterns in climate, streamflow, land drainage, and agricultural practices Microplastics in Great Lakes Tributaries Toxicity Testing for Stream Dwelling Amphibians, Mussels, and Mayflies Enhance Great Lakes beach recreational water quality decision making Mercury Cycling and Bioaccumulation in the Great Lakes AOC Decision Support Birds as Indicators of Contaminant Exposure in the Great Lakes Enabling Discovery and Access to USGS Great Lakes Scientific Data Through Web-Based Applications Determination of the Sensitivity of Two Species of Amphibians to Toxicity From Nitrate, Nitrite and Ammonia Forecasting Potential Phragmites Coastal Invasion Corridors Invasive Phragmites: Prevention, Monitoring, and Control Strategies in an Integrated Pest Management Framework Determine Baseline and Sources of Toxic Contaminant Loadings Birds as indicators of contaminants in the Great Lakes - Egg Contaminants Data Birds as indicators of contaminants in the Great Lakes Characterizing Rivermouth Ecosystems