Issues & Advocacy

Published on July 11th, 2017 | by GrowWNYAdmin

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Snapshot: Lake Erie

Lake Erie’s ecosystem is in poor condition and the trend is deteriorating.

Harmful algal blooms resulting from excessive nutrient inputs occur regularly in the western basin and Lake St. Clair during summer, and have impacted drinking water treatment systems. Beach closures, habitat loss and degradation, and beach fouling in the eastern basin continue to be major concerns.

Increased amounts of decaying algae exacerbate seasonal anoxia (depleted dissolved oxygen conditions) and hypoxia (low oxygen conditons) in bottom waters of the central basin.

Despite the challenges, there are positive ecosystem trends, including increased Walleye across the lake and Lake Sturgeon in the St. Clair-Detroit River System; increased aquatic habitat connectivity due to dam removal and mitigation projects; and declines in Sea Lamprey wounding of fish since 2010.

Since 2009, the western Lake Erie Cooperative Weed Management Area partners in Ohio and Michigan have treated more than 13,000 acres of invasive Phragmites, resulting in a 70% decrease in live Phragmites in Ohio and a resurgence of native plants in Michigan and Ohio.

Interested in reading more? Click to find the highlight report, State of the Great Lakes 2017.

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