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Benthos & Plankton in Wisconsin's Lake Michigan AOCs


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Description of Work Benthos (benthic invertebrate) and plankton (phytoplankton/zooplankton) communities in Wisconsin's four Lake Michigan Areas of Concern (AOCs; Menominee River, Lower Green Bay and Fox River, Sheboygan River, and Milwaukee Estuary) and six non-AOCs will be quantified. The inclusion of non-AOC sites will allow comparison of AOC sites to relatively-unimpacted or less-impacted control sites with natural physical and chemical characteristics that are as close as possible to that of the AOCs. The community data within and between the AOCs and non-AOCs will be analyzed. This project is a cooperative agreement between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and the US Geological Survey (USGS).

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The overall goal of the study was to inform the decision process with regard to removal of the Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) for degradation of benthos and the BUI for degradation of plankton populations in each AOC.

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