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Topic Summary

Posted by: Tory Gabriel, Ohio Sea Grant
« on: 11/07/13, 12:31 »

Thanks esoxal. That open dialog is exactly what we're shooting for, so thanks for the feedback. 

As you know, we're equally concerned with the phosphorus and loading issues, and there are a lot of good scientists working on it from multiple agencies and universities.  It certainly seems to be a simple issue, but the fixes are complex.  It's definitely a priority and we're working on it!
Posted by: esoxal
« on: 11/07/13, 11:02 »

I truly enjoy the open dialog this site provides.  No political dogma espoused :thumbsup:  I concur that our environment appears--with certain objective metrics--to be changing from what we believe is typical.

I am personally more concerned with addressing the increased phosporous/solids loading issues.  The bad news is that these are man-made issues; the good news is that they are completely within our ability to control.

Keep up the great work in the field, in the lab, and on this forum!
Posted by: Tory Gabriel, Ohio Sea Grant
« on: 11/05/13, 14:32 »

While it's true that just because a certain percentage of a population backing a theory does not make it an infallible truth, it's also true that there aren't really any "infallible truths" in science.  And we very much agree that most scientists are skeptics, as we need to be convinced with data.  That does not, however, necessarily equate to being in a "minority camp".  Good science does indeed invite dissent and demand accountability, in the form of data. 

There seems to be a decent amount of data backing climate change, and we are presented with more on a pretty routine basis.  Just for instance, the relatively rapid warming of Lake Superior (article here.) We're also seeing more frequent, and more intense storms throughout the region, which lead to more runoff and therefore more nutrient loading. Another example is increased habitat for, and populations of, largemouth bass in Lake Erie where we used to find smallmouth bass. 

Do these few examples prove that climate change is real?  No.  But it is data that backs the hypothesis.  Most scientists I work with agree that climate change is occurring, and they've reached that point by poring over data presented to them.  If current trends continue, there are potential major environmental and community development/economic impacts that we'll need to deal with.  It's better to head off these impacts where we can by using the data available to us and planning accordingly. 
Posted by: esoxal
« on: 11/05/13, 12:34 »

Just because 95% or 99% of a population espouse a certain theory doesn't make it an infallible truth.  The best scientists I know (past and present--hopefully future also!) have been skeptics and often in the minory camp.  Good science invites dissent and demands  accountability. 

Remember, too, that research for "climate change" (often a euphemism for 'global warming') requires funding from somewhere...follow the money...
Posted by: BobD
« on: 11/04/13, 15:25 »

...Politicians (all of them) who are now owned by special interest groups never do anything about our resources until they are forced. we have known about this problem for years and nothing but stalling has been done...
Gee, I remember a number of years ago that the three stooges (Glenn Beck, Shaun Hannity and Rush Limbaugh) repeadetly stressed that there was no "Global Warming" and that it was just a bunch of Liberal Hogwash.  They claimed most scientists disregarded the "Global Warming" claim and that man made CO2 was not responsible in the least.  (Even though about 95% of the National Academy of Scientists agreed in global warming).   The geniuses carped about this ad nauseum for a few yeasr, even denouncing Al Gores attempt to educate people as "more liberal hogwash.
And to think, these 3 guys had homw many years of college behind them????   Answer Zero, 0 none.
Now, with Climate Change advocated by 99% of scientists globally, I don't hear the mouths anymore on this topic.  I wonder why??
Posted by: Sarah Orlando, Ohio Sea Grant
« on: 10/30/13, 20:30 »

Thanks for sharing David!

The Ohio EPA should be producing an "Integrated Water Quality Assessment & Report" in 2014. The report will indicate the general condition of Ohio’s waters and list those waters that are currently impaired. The report will also list those waters that may require Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development in order to meet water quality standards.

A TMDL is a written, quantitative assessment of water quality problems in a waterbody and contributing sources of pollution. It specifies the amount a pollutant needs to be reduced to meet water quality standards (WQS), allocates pollutant load reductions, and provides the basis for taking actions needed to restore a waterbody.

Ohio TMDLs will likely include nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment as "contributing sources of pollution," among others. The TMDL would set a maximum amount of each of those pollutants that can be discharged from individual “point sources” — such as wastewater treatment plants, industries, large stormwater systems and large animal feeding operations — all of which are required to have discharge permits. There will also be recommendations and implementation plans for how to address discharges from nonpoint sources, such as polluted stormwater runoff.

Several watersheds in Ohio already have TMDLs that have been approved by USEPA, others are nearly complete and still others are in progress. Updates on TMDLs by watershed can be found at:

Also, you can find more information about the Integrated Report here:


Posted by: David Libby
« on: 10/29/13, 19:39 »

A recent news item:

Ohio seeks limits on phosphorus in streams

Ohio could become one of three states to establish limits for farm and sewage-treatment-plant pollution that feeds toxic algae in lakes.

An Ohio Environmental Protection Agency proposal under review by federal officials would establish limits for phosphorus and nitrogen in streams. Both are found in fertilizers, manure and sewage. They’re called nutrients because they help plants, including algae, grow.

Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally said he is optimistic that U.S. EPA officials will approve the proposal, which would be used to set specific limits for each Ohio stream.

continued in the link
It could be worthwhile to read the comments at the bottom of the news story as well
Posted by: Sarah Orlando, Ohio Sea Grant
« on: 09/04/13, 09:57 »

Thanks for sharing David.

Also of note is the draft Lake Erie Protection & Restoration Plan (LEPR), released by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission. This document reflects actions the Ohio Lake Erie Commission and its member agencies plan to take over the next several years to protect, preserve and restore Ohio’s Lake Erie. The state’s actions complement federal and local partners’ initiatives in the Lake Erie basin and across the region.

The plan highlights 12 priority areas, several of which address Harmful Algal Blooms (nonpoint source pollution, coastal health, and indicators and information). The public comment period has closed and the final draft should be published later this year.

For more information, see:
Posted by: David Libby
« on: 09/01/13, 17:50 »

The IJC has recently, 2013/08/29, released a report concerning the Harmful Algal Blooms (HABS) and nutrient loading for Lake Erie. And are also requesting public comments. Below is a few details pulled from the IJC website. Use the links below for full details.

The International Joint Commission (IJC) is an international organization created by the Boundary Waters Treaty, signed by Canada and the United States in 1909.

The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.

Draft Report
Commission Seeks Public Comment on Draft Lake Erie Report
Report Provides Advice to Governments to Reduce Nutrient Loadings and Harmful Algal Blooms
Brief report

Full report


Open Houses
Unless otherwise noted, each open house will have a poster display from 6-7pm with a time for public comment from 7-9pm.

The complete report can be reviewed at .
A few key highlights are:

-Current phosphorous loads to Lake Erie are largely from non-point sources.

-Run-off from agricultural sources such as fertilizer and animal waste are a major non-point source of phosphorous.

-There are hotspots that contribute a disproportionate share of dissolved reactive phosphorous (DRP) that is more bioavailable for supporting algal growth.  The single biggest source of DRP is the Maumee River.

-Because of the intense storms related to climate change, future nutrient loading, coupled with warmer temperatures, could lead to increased severity and frequency of algal blooms.  Climate change may also contribute to increasing hypoxia (dead zones) in the central basin of Lake Erie.

-In the western basin of Lake Erie, types of algae known as Microcystis and Anabaena both can secrete toxins that kill wildlife and pose a risk to human health.

-Phosphorous monitoring is inadequate, especially with regard to wet weather events as well as the share of phosphorous loading to Lake Erie contributed by the Detroit River.

With respect to action, the Commission made 15 specific recommendations directed toward federal, state and provincial governments.  These include:

-To reduce the severity and extent of harmful algal blooms to acceptable levels, governments should set total phosphorous load targets for the Maumee River and the western basin of Lake Erie that are roughly 40 percent below the average loads for the past five years.

-To reduce the hypoxic area by half, the DRP load should be reduced by more than 75 percent compared to the average.

-All jurisdictions in the Lake Erie basin should ban the application of manure and biosolids from agricultural operations on frozen or ground covered by snow.

-All jurisdictions in the Great Lakes basin should prohibit the use of P fertilizers for lawn care with strictly limited exceptions.

-Future management efforts should focus on reducing the phosphorous load delivered during the spring period and be focused primarily on those subwatersheds that are delivering the most phosphorous into the lake.

-Existing and planned incentive based programs should immediately shift to a preference for Best Management Practices that are most likely to reduce DRP.

-The U.S. & Canadian governments should strengthen and increase the use of regulatory
mechanisms of conservation farm planning, with nutrient management as a primary emphasis, in balance with the economic viability of the sector.

-U.S. and Canadian federal policy should link the cost and availability of crop insurance purchases or premiums to farm conservation planning and implementation of nutrient management practices.

-Governments should commit sustained funding for enhancing and maintaining monitoring networks, especially a water quality monitoring system at the outlet of the Detroit River and monitoring during wet weather events.
Posted by: David Libby
« on: 02/14/13, 18:36 »

The recent International Joint Commission (IJC) news letter has some updates about algea and phosphorus in Lake Erie if anyone is interested.

"The IJC’s Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority, or LEEP, is targeting excessive algae growth in Lake Erie. The plans are to develop recommendations for the Canadian and U.S. governments to measurably reduce dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) loads and algae by the end of 2015."

Posted by: Ray Wise
« on: 03/16/12, 06:39 »

Interesting thread on Walleye Central...

-Below is a post I made this morning on that thread--
Charter Member        
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Indian Lake, Ohio
Posts: 3,067

Originally Posted by Lund Man
You are correct. There are tens of billions of gallons of raw sewage pumped into Lake Erie every year.

Thanks for the read Lund Man ~ It looks like Lake Erie has alot in common (raw sewage) with Lake St Marys, Ohio after heavy rains with the old antiquated or inadequate combined sewer systems...

-add in the amount of run-off chems from the farmland practices of NW Ohio, the livestock operations dumping into streams that lead to Lake Erie & summer temps -equals- a return to the dreaded 60s again...

Fishing w/buds is a fun social event, while Angling is a serious skill-growth rung-climbing event with loads of self-improvement satisfaction w/each step... Hang a Hog, Not a Smelt

Bebob da I-Bobray

Posted by: rod bender bob
« on: 08/08/11, 17:37 »

I never doubted we would be here again. Politicians (all of them) who are now owned by special interest groups never do anything about our resources until they are forced. we have known about this problem for years and nothing but stalling has been done. Now we'll use the state of the economy as a reason to do nothing. Wonder what NW Ohio's economy will be like when the Lake fails (hint, take a look at the Lake St. Marys area). SAD

PS We should have Governor's Day  in the algae bloom!!!!!!

Posted by: Eugene Braig, Ohio Sea Grant
« on: 08/05/11, 11:25 »

Sad.  I grew up on the lake and never thought we'd be back to this point.
Posted by: David Libby
« on: 08/04/11, 13:18 »

The Lake Erie LaMP 2011 Annual Report has also recognized this as one of the most important issues for Lake Erie.
"As part of its leadership role in restoring Lake Erie, the Lake
Erie LaMP Management Committee set and agreed to
indicator endpoints for total phosphorus concentrations for
surface water (see table). These targets are based on the best
available science, and when achieved, will reduce problem
algal blooms in the Lake. This will, in turn, improve fish and
wildlife habitat and recreational use of the lake, reduce
additional costs for drinking water treatment, and improve
hypoxia (low oxygen) in the central basin."

"Lake Erie water quality has taken a turn for the worse. The
algal blooms that threatened the Lake Erie ecosystem in the
1960s and 1970s have returned, and the extent and duration
of anoxia/hypoxia in the central basin continues to increase.
Growth of Cladophora, a type of algae..."
Posted by: Eugene Braig, Ohio Sea Grant
« on: 08/01/11, 09:19 »

In related news, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Natural Resources, and Department of Health are working to implement a response strategy to harmful algal blooms (HABs).  If you're curious about the whole, you can download the document by clicking HERE (4.4 mb).

They are also collaborating on a clearinghouse site for cyanobacteria/HAB issues and news in Ohio.  Check it out at