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Description of Work USGS is creating forecasting tools for managers to determine how water withdrawals or other hydrologic or land use changes in watersheds may affect Great Lakes ecosystems. This project is determining fish distributions in Great Lakes tributaries and how changes in stream flow may affect them. This information will help guide restoration efforts to achieve maximum effectiveness and success. Estimates were produced using WATER - a TOPMODEL based tool that estimates streamflow at any point along the stream network. The pour point is selected using a point-and-click GUI that samples information about the basin using a geodatabase of topographic and soil data spatial layers.
Description of WorkThe Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was established to accelerate ecosystem restoration in the Great Lakes by confronting the most serious threats to the region, such as nonpoint source pollution, toxic sediments, and invasive species. Four Priority Watersheds have been targeted by the Regional Working Group's Phosphorus Reduction Work Group (Fox/Green Bay, Saginaw, Maumee, and Genesee) and are characterized by having a high density of agricultural land use and have ecosystem impairments that have been clearly identified. Monitoring is being conducted at the sub-watershed, edge-of-field, and subsurface-tile scale where monitoring locations are targeted to those areas within each watershed...
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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 collect real-time, near-real-time, and synoptic flow and water-quality data (sediment and nutrients) from tributaries to the Great Lakes. The data provide baseline information to assess effectiveness of restoration and land management activities. Thirty of the 59 major downstream flow gages are continuously operating for water-quality samplings at these sites (number of sites reduced to 25 effective June 30, 2013). The work builds on current USGS monitoring efforts and those of partners in the Great Lakes. The results of this effort will provide information on nutrient and sediment loads and measure the effectiveness of restoration efforts in selected...
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Description of WorkThe success of GLRI beach restoration projects must be assessed to determine whether goals of recipients are on track and identify any developing unforeseen consequences of restoration efforts. Implementation of multiple BMPs during restoration can make understanding the impacts of individual BMPs difficult. However, proper site selection and well-designed monitoring and assessment plan can overcome such difficulties. The urban beaches chosen for evaluation are at various stages of the restoration process and located in Indiana (Jeorse Park Beach), Illinois (63rd Street Beach), and Wisconsin (North Beach). Data used for evaluation include continuous monitoring and synoptic mapping of nearshore...
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Description of Work Predictive models have been used at beaches to improve the timeliness and accuracy of recreational water-quality assessments over the most common current approach to water-quality monitoring, which relies on culturing fecal-indicator bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli.)
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provided a one-week training course for ''Geomorphic Analysis of Fluvial Systems'' to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other state and local agencies in Chicago. This provided an introduction to the concepts of how stream channels change over time due to natural and human-caused changes in the watershed. This training assisted managers in understanding the goals and limits of stream restoration specific to Great Lakes streams. Much of the training centered on sediment movement in channels and also was applicable to EPA managers working on clean-sediment TMDLs and nutrient-sediment interactions.
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists will conduct fish sampling in Indiana to determine the main causes of impairment of Pigeon Creek. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Indiana State agencies will use the data to evaluate ways to improve water quality. Fish assemblage data is needed to develop total maximum daily loads and implementation plans for impaired AOCs and tributaries in the Basin. Development of the TMDLs will include determining the sources of the pollutant, calculating loading allocations to ensure the designated uses will be met, and developing an implementation plan to achieve these allocations. TMDLs will address several pollutants including nutrients, sediment and...
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists will assess the hydrology, water quality, and response to simulated changes in phosphorus loading of the Winnebago Pool Lakes, Wisconsin. Total annual phosphorus and total suspended sediment loads will be estimated at various monitored locations throughout the Upper Fox and Wolf River Watershed using a rating curve method or GCLAS with streamflow monitored by the USGS and water quality data collected by the Wisconsin DNR. Monitoring at three new sites was done as part of this study. Data from these three sites will be used to help calibrate the SWAT model for the basin. These loads will be supplied to the Cadmus Group, Inc. to help calibrate SWAT models...
Description of WorkExcessive nutrient and sediment concentrations and loads have been documented in many tributaries to the Great Lakes. Many efforts have been made during the first 5 years of GLRI to reduce nutrient and sediment concentrations in streams and rivers throughout the Great Lakes Basin, and these efforts will continue during Phase II of GLRI. In order to determine the success of these efforts at improving water quality, it is important to document in a systematic manner the water quality and loading from key tributaries to the Great Lakes.Goals & ObjectivesThe objectives of this project are to: 1) Collect streamflow and samples for sediment and nutrients for major streams that are tributary to the Great...
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Description of Work The Great Lakes ecosystem has undergone major changes over the last two decades related to the invasion of Dreissenid mussels, increased water clarity, increased benthic algae and associated water quality problems. For reasons not yet entirely understood, and that have bi-national significance, water column total phosphorus has not significantly increased over the last decade but the relative percent of the more biologically available dissolved phosphorus has increased. The filtering action of Dreissenid mussels has been shown to increase concentrations of dissolved phosphorus in the water column immediately above mussel beds and this had been hypothesized as one explanation for the increase...
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Description of Work The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was established to accelerate ecosystem restoration in the Great Lakes by confronting the most serious threats to the region, such as nonpoint source pollution, toxic sediments, and invasive species. Three Priority Watersheds have been targeted by the Regional Working Group's Phosphorus Reduction Work Group (Fox/Green Bay, Saginaw, and Maumee) and are characterized by having a high density of agricultural land use and have ecosystem impairments that have been clearly identified. Within the Maumee River Priority Watersheds, monitoring is being conducted at the sub-watershed, edge-of-field, and subsurface-tile scale. The edge-of-field and subsurface-tile...
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Description of Work The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was established to accelerate ecosystem restoration in the Great Lakes by confronting the most serious threats to the region, such as nonpoint source pollution, toxic sediments, and invasive species. Three Priority Watersheds have been targeted by the Regional Working Group's Phosphorus Reduction Work Group (Fox/Green Bay, Saginaw, and Maumee) and are characterized by having a high density of agricultural land use and have ecosystem impairments that have been clearly identified. Within the Fox River Priority Watershed, monitoring is being conducted at the sub-watershed and edge-of-field scale. The edge-of-field stations are targeted to those areas...
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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 Saginaw River Edge of Field Monitoring Maumee River Edge of Field Monitoring Enhance Great Lakes beach recreational water quality decision making Development of Watershed TMDLs in the Great Lakes Basin Forecast/Nowcast Great Lakes Nutrient and Sediment Loadings Building local capacity to address nonpoint source problems Evaluation of Phosphorus Reduction - Fox River Data for Development of Watershed TMDLs in the Great Lakes Basin Understanding Nutrient Loading Impacts on Lake Ontario Nearshore Waters at the Niagara River Connecting Channel Developing and Implementing Predictive Models for Estimating Recreational Water Quality at Great Lakes Beaches in new York State 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 Maumee River Edge of Field Monitoring Development of Watershed TMDLs in the Great Lakes Basin Evaluation of Phosphorus Reduction - Fox River Data for Development of Watershed TMDLs in the Great Lakes Basin Saginaw River Edge of Field Monitoring Understanding Nutrient Loading Impacts on Lake Ontario Nearshore Waters at the Niagara River Connecting Channel Developing and Implementing Predictive Models for Estimating Recreational Water Quality at Great Lakes Beaches in new York State 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 Enhance Great Lakes beach recreational water quality decision making Forecast/Nowcast Great Lakes Nutrient and Sediment Loadings Building local capacity to address nonpoint source problems