Huron, OH Scientists conducting more than 30 research and restoration projects in northern Ohio met together on November 29 to share highly anticipated preliminary results and coordinate their projects with other researchers and state managers. The Lake Erie Coordination and Synthesis Team is enhancing these projects by combining the results of Ohio’s Lake Erie projects, funded by more than $19 million from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), to both restore Lake Erie and communicate restoration results with stakeholders in the Great Lakes region.
"It’s incredibly important that as scientists, we take the time to present our results in a clear and concise fashion that is understandable to managers, decision makers, elected officials, and the public," says Ohio Sea Grant Director Jeff Reutter. "Doing so greatly enhances the value of the projects."
The federally funded GLRI has provided nearly $775 million in new funding so far for projects addressing some of the greatest threats to the Great Lakes: toxic substances, invasive species, pollution, and habitat protection and restoration. Researchers will produce management plans and conduct on-the-ground projects, including constructing habitat, removing toxins, and understanding nutrient runoff. Many projects target Areas of Concern (AOC), such as the Maumee/Ottawa AOC, the Cuyahoga River AOC, and the Ashtabula AOC to complete post-cleanup habitat restoration and move these areas toward final delisting. GLRI projects have already led to a great deal of remediation activity during the 2011 field season.
Led by Gail Hesse from the Ohio Lake Erie Commission and Jeff Reutter from Ohio Sea Grant, the Synthesis Team is made up of nearly 20 experts from around Lake Erie. The team promotes cooperation among grant recipients and facilitates discussion of information. Creating opportunities for cooperation among projects will add to their value and placing project results in the hands of managers at the earliest possible date will improve their ability to manage Lake Erie.
The team also supports outreach efforts for all participating projects including a featured website, news releases, fact sheets, and newsletter articles. The result will highlight the contributions that GLRI is making to the improvement of Lake Erie.
Learn more about Ohio’s GLRI projects atlakeerie.ohio.gov/GLRI/SynthesisTeam.aspx .