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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is identifying the types and locations of emerging and legacy toxic contaminants in the water and sediments at 59 major tributaries to the Great Lakes (including many Area of Concern sites). This information is needed to help prioritize watersheds for restoration, develop strategies to reduce contaminants, and measure the success of those efforts in meeting restoration goals. The USGS contaminant and virus tributary monitoring network follows the National Monitoring Network for Coastal Waters design. The monitoring effort includes collecting emerging contaminant samples at 17 sites, a subset of the 30 nutrient monitoring sites; and for human viruses and other waterborne...
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Description of Work USGS will conduct seasonal sampling of benthic invertebrates, zooplankton, prey fish, and their diets to complement the seasonal lower trophic level sampling by EPA. A point of emphasis is describing the vertical distribution of planktivores and their zooplankton prey, to fill a knowledge gap on these predator/prey interactions. These data will provide a more holistic understanding of how invasive-driven, food-web changes could be altering energy available to sport fishes in the Great Lakes and used to build bioenergetics models that can evaluate whether zooplankton dynamics are being driven by limited resources or excessive predation. Understanding the key drivers of zooplankton will provide...
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Description of Work USGS will conduct monthly samples of benthic invertebrates, zooplankton, and water quality as well as seasonal sampling of fish and fish diets. This project supports lower trophic sampling in Lake Erie and understanding food webs. An emphasis will be collecting samples from a nearshore to offshore design.
Description of Work At two of Wisconsin's Areas of Concern (AOCs) on Lake Michigan, the Sheboygan River AOC and Milwaukee Estuary AOC, the USGS will assess whether sediment toxicity from PCBs, PAHs, selected metals, ammonia, or dissolved oxygen is present at acutely toxic or chronically toxic concentrations using sediment toxicity tests conducted with amphipods and midges. Study planning and literature search have been completed. Sediment was collected in October 2016 from sites in the two AOCs and sites in two non-AOC comparison sites. Assesments will be done at two additional sites: Kewaunee River and Oak Creek. Laboratory toxicity tests and chemical analyses are in progress, including sediment toxicity testing...
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Description of Work Jeorse Park Beach is located in East Chicago, Indiana, within the Grand Calumet River Area of Concern (AOC), which has been identified as having all 14 beneficial use designations impaired, including beach closings. Jeorse Park Beach has been identified as one of the most highly contaminated beaches in the nation, with annual beach closings due to bacterial contamination as high as 76% in 2010. Further, beach closings have steadily increased each year since beach monitoring was initiated in 2005 in response to the Beaches Environmental and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act. Beach closings represent an environmental, social, and economic burden, the alleviation of which require various remediation strategies...
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Description of Work USEPA Region 5 previously funded a study in 2011 evaluating the toxicity of nitrogen compounds to a select number of pond-dwelling amphibians. The objective of this new study will be to determine the toxicity of nitrogen compounds to stream-dwelling amphibians. Nitrogen contamination in aquatic systems results from the decomposition of organic matter, as well as through agricultural inputs, sewage effluents and industrial activities. Nitrogen in its various forms is of ecological concern because of its ubiquitous distribution and toxicity to aquatic life. Nitrogen compounds pose a hazard to aquatic larval stages of amphibians, affecting survival and development, and inducing deformities and behavioral...
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will provide easily accessible, centrally located, USGS biological, water resources, geological, and geospatial datasets for Great Lakes basin restoration activities coordinated with GLOS. Managers, partners and the public will be able to readily access this information in usable interactive formats to help plan and implement restoration activities. Building tools and infrastructure to support standard data access, efficient data discovery and dynamic mapping of watersheds and their hydrologic properties. Developing decision support tools to enhance scientific investigation or disseminate project findings, for example integrating hydrologic models with real-time...
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Description of Work To date many meetings have been attended and coalitions developed between USGS Water Mission area and NYSDEC and EPA region 2 which have spun off into several other monitoring and BUI delisting projects funded by Region 2 through the USGS/EPA IA. This has been a perfect example of leveraging USGS GLRI funds to develop additional GLRI-related program for the Lake Ontario LaMP partners, especially for tributary nutrient and sediment loading to Lake Ontario and helping collect and assess the data needed to remove BUI impairments at the Rochester Embayment and St. Lawrence/Massena AOCs for benthos and phytoplankton impairments.
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Description of Work Participation on the Lake Erie Lakewide Management Plan Workgroup and related subcommittees such as toxics, sources and loads, nutrients, and biodiversity. Attend meetings and conferences associated with LE LAMP activities. This includes The Lake Erie Millennium Network, CSMI, Ohio Phosphorus Task Force, and other meetings or workshops addressing nutrient and toxicity issues in Lake Erie. Communicate USGS activities in the Lake Erie Basin that can influence understanding or impact decision making.
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Description of Work In 2014-15 the U.S. Geological Survey and State University of New York at Fredonia characterized the quantity and morphology of floating microplastics in 29 Great Lakes tributaries in 6 states under different hydrologic conditions, wastewater effluent contributions, land uses, and seasons. Tributaries were sampled four times each, during high-flow and low-flow conditions. Samples were collected from the upper 20-30cm of the stream using a 0.33mm mesh neuston net. Microplastic particles were sorted by size, counted, and categorized as fibers/lines, pellets/beads, foams, films, and fragments. References 1. R. C. Thompson et al., Lost at Sea: Where Is All the Plastic? Science. 304, 838 (2004)....
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Description of Work The study will be implemented in two phases due to logistical constraints and the need to incorporate methods developed (and findings) from a comparable investigation underway in another AOC. The first phase will consist of site selection, methods refinement, work-plan development, subcontract assembly, site reconnaissance, and sediment collection which will be done mainly during FY2013. The second phase will consist of macroinvertebrate identification, sediment toxicity testing, data analysis and interpretation, and report preparation and review mainly during FY2014. In brief, we will generate bed sediment toxicity and benthic community data needed to test two related hypotheses that address...
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Description of Work The sensitivity of listed species of fish or amphibians was evaluated in acute and chronic toxicity tests conducted with a range of inorganic or organic chemicals with different toxic modes of action. Results of these studies indicate that the acute or chronic sensitivity of rainbow trout, but not fathead minnow, frequently provided protective acute or chronic toxicity thresholds for most of the listed species evaluated. However, only a limited number of species of sculpins or darters were included in this evaluation, and not all species tested occurred in the Great Lakes watershed. The objective of the proposed study will be to: (1) provide additional chronic toxicity data for sculpins or darters...
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Description of Work USGS scientists will support EPA's year of intensive sampling around the Great Lakes to complement and expand upon EPA and other partner entities work. In 2013, on Lake Ontario USGS will sample the food web from a nearshore (20 m) to offshore (100 m) gradient where seasonal sampling of primary producers, benthic invertebrates, zooplankton, prey fish, sport fish, and their diets will occur. We will work closely with state management agencies and stakeholder groups to ensure that ecosystem models that emerge from this work explore relevant future management scenarios. Scientists will analyze the diets of the six species of trout and salmon currently occurring in Lake Ontario. This predator diet...
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Description of Work Currently, a standard test method does not exist for evaluating the effects of sediment-associated toxicants on freshwater mussels. A standard guide for conducting water-only laboratory toxicity tests with freshwater mussels was approved in 2006 (ASTM 2008a) and provides a tested and validated, consensus-based methodology for conducting acute or chronic water toxicity tests with the early life stages (glochidia and juveniles) of freshwater mussels. Several recent peer-reviewed scientific publications have presented data on various toxicants (Bringolf et al. 2007a,b,c; Wang et al. 2007a,b,c) generated with this method and demonstrate consistency and reliability in inter-laboratory (round robin)...
Description of WorkThe Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was established to accelerate ecosystem restoration in the Great Lakes by confronting the most serious threats to the region, such as nonpoint source pollution, toxic sediments, and invasive species. Four Priority Watersheds have been targeted by the Regional Working Group's Phosphorus Reduction Work Group (Fox/Green Bay, Saginaw, Maumee, and Genesee) and are characterized by having a high density of agricultural land use and have ecosystem impairments that have been clearly identified. Monitoring is being conducted at the sub-watershed, edge-of-field, and subsurface-tile scale where monitoring locations are targeted to those areas within each watershed...
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists collect real-time, near-real-time, and synoptic flow and water-quality data (sediment and nutrients) from tributaries to the Great Lakes. The data provide baseline information to assess effectiveness of restoration and land management activities. Thirty of the 59 major downstream flow gages are continuously operating for water-quality samplings at these sites (number of sites reduced to 25 effective June 30, 2013). The work builds on current USGS monitoring efforts and those of partners in the Great Lakes. The results of this effort will provide information on nutrient and sediment loads and measure the effectiveness of restoration efforts in selected...
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Description of WorkThe success of GLRI beach restoration projects must be assessed to determine whether goals of recipients are on track and identify any developing unforeseen consequences of restoration efforts. Implementation of multiple BMPs during restoration can make understanding the impacts of individual BMPs difficult. However, proper site selection and well-designed monitoring and assessment plan can overcome such difficulties. The urban beaches chosen for evaluation are at various stages of the restoration process and located in Indiana (Jeorse Park Beach), Illinois (63rd Street Beach), and Wisconsin (North Beach). Data used for evaluation include continuous monitoring and synoptic mapping of nearshore...
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are focusing on restoring natural water flow and ecological processes between coastal wetlands in the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (Ohio) and adjacent to Lake Erie to improve fish and wildlife habitat. This pilot project will develop approaches that will restore coastal wetland function and increase ecosystem resilience to be used as a model throughout the Great Lakes basin. USGS will focus on restoring natural hydrologic processes in diked coastal wetlands adjacent to Great Lakes waters to improve wetland functions like phosphorus retention and restoration of habitats for fish and wildlife. Sustainable approaches are being developed in the Maumee River...
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Description of Work USGS scientists will develop support to State partners for the removal of Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) such as fish consumption advisories, fish tumor presence, Eutrophication and unwanted algae, drinking water problems, beach health, and concentrations of PCBs in lake trout and walleyes. Areas of Concern (AOC) principles and guidelines were developed as an initial reference point from which appropriate restoration criteria could be developed. Stage 2 Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) were developed for each of these AOCs to address impairments to any one of 14 beneficial uses associated with these areas. Specific remediation actions are completed in order to restore the beneficial use. When...


map background search result map search result map Benthic Communities and Sediment and Water Toxicity in the Rochester Embayment AOC Lakewide Management Plan Capacity Support by U.S. Geological Survey - LAKE ERIE Lakewide Management Plan Capacity Support by U.S. Geological Survey - LAKE ONTARIO Forecast/Nowcast Great Lakes Nutrient and Sediment Loadings AOC Decision Support Determine Baseline and Sources of Toxic Contaminant Loadings Enabling Discovery and Access to USGS Great Lakes Scientific Data Through Web-Based Applications Development and Demonstration of a Sediment Toxicity Test Method with Freshwater Mussels for Assessing Sediment Contaminants in the Great Lakes Basin and within North America Toxicity Testing of Sculpins and Darters Toxicity in Stream-Dwelling Amphibians Lake Ontario Component - Exploring changes in nutrient transfer within Great Lakes food webs: implications for fish production Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) - LAKE HURON New Strategies for Restoring Coastal Wetland Function, Maumee River Area of Concern Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) - LAKE ERIE Jeorse Park Beach Contamination Microplastics in Great Lakes Tributaries Benthic Communities and Sediment and Water Toxicity in the Rochester Embayment AOC Lake Ontario Component - Exploring changes in nutrient transfer within Great Lakes food webs: implications for fish production New Strategies for Restoring Coastal Wetland Function, Maumee River Area of Concern Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) - LAKE ERIE Jeorse Park Beach Contamination Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) - LAKE HURON Lakewide Management Plan Capacity Support by U.S. Geological Survey - LAKE ONTARIO Lakewide Management Plan Capacity Support by U.S. Geological Survey - LAKE ERIE Microplastics in Great Lakes Tributaries AOC Decision Support Enabling Discovery and Access to USGS Great Lakes Scientific Data Through Web-Based Applications Forecast/Nowcast Great Lakes Nutrient and Sediment Loadings Development and Demonstration of a Sediment Toxicity Test Method with Freshwater Mussels for Assessing Sediment Contaminants in the Great Lakes Basin and within North America Toxicity Testing of Sculpins and Darters Toxicity in Stream-Dwelling Amphibians Determine Baseline and Sources of Toxic Contaminant Loadings