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Ohio Sea Grant College Program
and Stone Laboratory

Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory

An Ecosystem Approach to Lake Erie Coastal Wetlands: Sediment, Nutrient and Pesticide Budgets

Project Number: R/ES-004, Completion Report

Start Date: 9/1/1987

Completion Date: 8/31/1990

Revision Date: 3/8/2012

Principal Investigator(s)1.Kenneth A. Krieger, Water Quality Lab Heidelberg College*
Co-Principal Investigator(s)2.Kenneth Baker, Biology Heidelberg College*
This shows the current affiliation and may not match affiliation at time of participation. *

Funding Record

Source: Ohio Sea Grant College Program
Source FundState MatchPass Through
Total$ 39,000.00$ 16,952.00$ 0.00


To quantify water and materials budgets, seasonally and annually, in a freshwater coastal wetland, of Lake Erie. These data will permit us to model the role of Great Lakes coastal wetlands as sinks, transformers and/or sources of sediment, nutrients, pesticides and other pollutants.


Coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes are believed to function as important intermediaries which mitigate the effects of pollution to the lakes from their tributaries. Piror to this project, no field research sites have existed for examining this function quantitatively. We have selected the Old Woman Creek system as a model wetland for the study of Great Lakes coastal wetland functions.


We will continue to collect water samples at an upland-wetland transport station and a wetland-lake transport station and to analyze the samples for concentrations of sediment, nutrients and pesticides. The study is situated at the Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve in north central Ohio. The U.S. Geological Survey will continue to establish flow ratings at the two stations. By combining the concentration and flow data, materials budgets will be calculated.

Benefits & Accomplishments

As of early December 1987, automated sampling and sample analysis had commenced at both stations and flow calibration was underway at the upstream station.

This project will provide Great Lakes water quality managers and planners and the public with important basic knowledge as to the role of natural as well as recreated coastal wetlands in mitigating pollution from tributaries. It will show whether highly bioavailable forms of phosphorus and nitrogen are largely converted to less bioavailable forms before entering the lakes. As a designated "critical area" watershed in terms of erosion potential, and with the materials export data that will be generated during this project, the study watershed could be used to demonstrate the beneficial and adverse water quality effects of the largescale adoption of best management practices on the land.

Publications & Media

Deprecated: Miscellaneous documents
PDF: Krieger, K. A. 1993, A method for estimating materials fluxes from coastal wetlands into the Great Lakes, with an example from Lake Erie
Ohio Sea Grant Technical Bulletin OHSU-TB-025-93. 27 pp.
Deprecated: Miscellaneous documentsKrieger, K. A. 2001, Effectiveness of a coastal wetland in reducing the movement of agricultural pollutants into Lake Erie
Ohio Sea Grant College Program Technical Bulletin Series. Pub. OSHU-TB-056. 33 pp. + figures, tables, & appendices.
Peer-reviewed reprints
Peer-reviewed reprintsKrieger, K. A. 2003, Effectiveness of a coastal wetland in reducing pollution of a Laurentian Great Lake: hydrology, sediment, and nutrients
Wetlands 23:778-791. Made available by Ohio Sea Grant as OHSU-RS-277.
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summaries
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summariesKrieger, K. A. 2001, Coastal wetlands enhance Great Lakes water quality
Coastal Zone 01 Conference, Cleveland, Ohio. (extended abstract)
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summariesKrieger, K. A. 1994, Pollutant removal and transformation by the Old Woman Creek Wetland
Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve & State Nature Preserve, "Meet the Researchers Day".
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summariesKrieger, K. A. 1994, Dynamics and fate of agricultural pollutants in a Great Lakes coastal wetland
Michigan State University, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Program.
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summariesKrieger, K. A. 1993, Wetlands and lakes: the pollution connection
Joint Annual Meetings of Ohio Lake Management Society and Midwest Aquatic Plant Management Society, Huron, Ohio.

Supported Students

StudentCole, Amy (Undergraduate)
The Ohio State University
StudentMasters, Darrin (Undergraduate)
The Ohio State University
StudentHammond, Michelle (Undergraduate)
The Ohio State University
StudentSchwalenberg, Lisa (Undergraduate)
The Ohio State University
StudentVillalon, Brian (Undergraduate)
The Ohio State University