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CSMI 2014 Products

Products part of CSMI 2014 series


DETAILS TYPE

Local Surveillance, Global Conclusions

OHSU-TS-1518

In the Great Lakes, the Great Lakes Sediment Surveillance Program (GLSSP) is one of those efforts. Started in 2010 as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), the program completed sampling in all five Great Lakes, and analyzed more than 1,000 sediment samples for a wide range of organic pollutants.

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Studying the Channels that Connect the Great Lakes

OHSU-TS-1519

Ecological monitoring is an essential part of managing ecosystems in the 21st century: it helps track changes due to human impacts, assesses pollution and efforts to clean it up, and offers insight into the intricate relationships between living things, both in the monitored area and in general. Scientific monitoring techniques can easily be applied to different regions of the world, but sometimes it’s important to take a step back and make sure that the approach that makes sense for one study is still producing desired results in a different environment. Scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Office of Research and Development do just that: working on the basic science of developing and testing new sampling methods and making sure techniques used in one environment work just as well in another setting.

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Mercury in the Great Lakes: Possibly Not Where You Think You’ll Find It

OHSU-TS-1520

Mercury is a globally dispersed pollutant, as many industrial processes discharge mercury into the atmosphere, where air currents help it travel to every corner of the world. It has been known to cause problems in the Great Lakes for about 50 years, but has been understudied in the past, in part because sample collection and analysis of mercury in anything but fish is extremely difficult to do without contaminating the sample.

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Mussels Can Say A Lot About Environmental Concerns

OHSU-TS-1521

NOAA’s Mussel Watch Program has been in operation since 1986, when it was designed to monitor the status and trends of a broad suite of chemical contaminants at sites that represented large coastal areas in order to construct a nationwide assessment. In 1992 the Great Lakes were added to this monitoring effort, and involvement with CSMI and funding under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) helped the program ramp up its efforts in 2010.

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Surveying the Lakescape

OHSU-TS-1517

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Lake Erie Biological Station in Sandusky, along with researchers from a wide range of universities, other government agencies and private companies, collected information on a variety of information about Lake Erie, from nutrient content to fish diets and everything in between. The survey, which takes a more comprehensive look at the overall ecosystem instead of focusing on smaller aspects of it, provides baseline data for management efforts and further research into the health and protection of Lake Erie.

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Tracking Oxygen in Lake Erie’s Central Basin

OHSU-TS-1516

Researchers from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitored water movement and oxygen concentrations at the 14-16 meter depth, where it’s most likely for hypoxic water to intrude into shallower areas with normal oxygen concentrations. Organisms that live there aren’t adapted for those lower oxygen levels, so it’s also where those intrusions can have serious negative impacts on aquatic life that can’t survive these conditions for more than a few minutes.

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Watching Mussels Grow: More Important Than You May Think

OHSU-TS-1513

Researchers at SUNY Buffalo State’s Great Lakes Center are monitoring life at the bottom of the Great Lakes to see how environmental changes such as pollution and harmful algal blooms affect these organisms.

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Eighty Years of Tiny Lake Erie Critters

OHSU-TS-1514

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been collecting information on Lake Erie benthos – the mollusks, snails and worms that live in sediments on the lake bottom – since the 1930s. Many of these organisms are considered indicators of how healthy an ecosystem is, so determining changes and trends over time can help management agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) evaluate and track the effectiveness of protection strategies and regulations.

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Tracking Fish Contamination in the Great Lakes

OHSU-TS-1515

The directive of the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring Surveillance Program (GLFMSP) is to look for toxic chemicals in top predator fish of the Great Lakes, such as lake trout and walleye, which play an important role in Lake Erie’s multi-million-dollar sport fishing industry. The program’s scientists monitor changes in the accumulation of toxic chemicals in the food web as a result of changing regulations on, for example, cancer-causing compounds like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCB concentrations have been decreasing since the late 1970s, when their production was banned in the United States. The monitoring program has mapped this trend and laid the groundwork for many other toxin monitoring programs in the U.S.

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Phosphorus in Lake Erie Sediments Contributes Little to Harmful Algal Blooms

OHSU-TS-1512

Some people may be worried about how much phosphorus is already found in the lake, bound to sediments on the lake bottom. Is there already so much phosphorus in the lake that it’s too late to fix the problem so blooms will continue regardless of efforts to reduce runoff from the land? Turns out that’s not likely.

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