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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 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 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 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 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...
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Description of Work Determine the relative sensitivity of two species of amphibians (i.e. Wood Frogs Rana sylvatica, Cricket Frogs Acris crepitans blanchardi, American Toad Bufo americana) to exposure to acute and chronic levels of nitrate, nitrite and ammonia. This data will be used to evaluate the current ammonia criteria and for possible inclusion in the development of criteria for nitrite and nitrate.
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Description of Work The invasive form of Phragmites australis (common reed) is a well-established pest in many parts of the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, including designated Areas of Concern. New innovative control options that sustainably target the competitive advantage often enjoyed by Phragmites and other invasive plants will contribute to a broad Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy. This project targets the microorganisms that may help Phragmites spread and will employ a molecular genetic approach to silence the genes in Phragmites that give it a competitive edge over many native plants. This project helped build and will continue to be closely aligned with the Great Lakes Phragmites...
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Tree swallows, Tachycineta bicolor, were sampled across the Great Lakes basin in 2010-2015 to provide a system-wide assessment of current exposure to organic contaminants. These results provide information identified as critical by land managers and regulators to assess the ‘Bird or Animal Deformity or Reproductive Problems’ Beneficial Use Impairment. Eggs were collected from 69 sites across all five Great Lakes, including 27 Areas of Concern (AOCs), some with multiple sites, and ten sites not listed as an AOC. Concentrations of organic contaminants in eggs were quantified and compared to background and reproductive effect thresholds. Approximately one-third of the AOCs had geometric mean concentrations of total...
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Description of Work U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) will identify through this project significant sources and impacts of historical and newly emerging toxics to the Great Lakes ecosystem through broad surveillance as well as laboratory and field research of tree swallows and other bird species. USGS scientists will determine the amount of exposure to and the effects of historical and emerging contaminants in Great Lakes food chains. The data will inform regulators and provide guidance on removal of Beneficial Use Impairments at Area of Concern sites around the Great Lakes. Work supported under this project is quantifying exposure to, and effects of, both historical and emerging contaminants on Great Lakes food chains...
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Description of Work The work completed for this template will provide the following information: 1) Generate acute and chronic toxicity data for freshwater mussels and snails to enhance the protection of listed/endangered species in the GL basin; 2) Refine methods and conduct acute and chronic toxicity tests on amphibians; 3) Develop and test methods for conducting chronic toxicity tests for mayflies.
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Description of Work The GLRI Rivermouths Project (template 82) is designed to enhance our understanding of how rivermouths function at both regional and local scales by 1) developing a rivermouth classification system, based on a broad scale database covering all Great Lakes rivermouths (>2000); 2) creating a science-based understanding of how the ecological structure and function of rivermouths are linked both to the landscapes they drain and to the Lakes with which they mix; and 3) increasing the public and scientific profile of these ecosystems by connecting researchers and natural resource managers through a collaborative dialog. The long-term goal is to provide enhanced guidance for restoration and rehabilitation...
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are improving the health of the Great Lakes sport and commercial fisheries by documenting sources and the determining the processes that control mercury entering food webs, and helping to evaluate the implications for public health. Our scientists will provide decision-makers with a scientific understanding of mercury-source profiles, the relative importance of the various sources, and the expected environmental responses to Great Lakes wasters and fisheries to altered mercury loading and restoration actions. This information is intended to inform and maximize the benefit of the Great Lakes restoration program. The USGS will develop mercury and methylmercury...
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Contaminant exposure of tree swallows, Tachycineta bicolor, nesting in the Great Lakes basin was assessed in 2010 to 2014. Tree swallow nestlings were collected from 69 sites which included multiple sites at some of the 27 Areas of Concern (AOCs) and at nine non-AOC sites. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDEs) concentrations were measured in nestling stomach contents. Concentrations of PCBs and PBDEs were measured in nestling carcasses. Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) were measured in nestling plasma. Pooled dietary concentrations of total PAHs were highest at the Rouge River, MI AOC (1,856 ng/g wet weight) and lowest at White Lake, MI...
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will use remote sensing data to establish a baseline understanding of current distributions of invasive wetland plants and then forecast potential invasion corridors. Alterations to the Great Lakes shoreline or water-level patterns associated with global climate change could have significant impacts on the extent and composition of coastal habitat. Low lake levels can expose fertile wetland bottomlands to invasive species such as common reed ( Phragmites). Goals & Objectives Goals: Identify current Phragmites distribution in the Great Lakes coastal zone, detect potential areas vulnerable to invasion due to influences such as altered water levels, nutrient and...
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Description of Work In collaboration with 23 local and state agencies, beach-specific models were developed at 43 beaches throughout the Great Lakes region, and data were collected at 6 more beaches for future predictive model development. A predictive modeling workshop was hosted by USGS with instructors from USGS, USEPA, and Wisconsin DNR and included training on the use of USGS-developed data aggregation tools and USEPA’s Virtual Beach. Relevance & Impact Over 56 beaches across the Great Lakes region, in addition to those currently being monitored, will be included in this effort to help meet goals for healthier beaches. Key Findings Analyses were completed for a suite of pathogens at 12 Great Lakes beaches....


    map background search result map search result map Saginaw River Edge of Field Monitoring Enhance Great Lakes beach recreational water quality decision making Lakewide Management Plan Capacity Support by U.S. Geological Survey - LAKE HURON Mercury Cycling and Bioaccumulation in the Great Lakes AOC Decision Support Determine Baseline and Sources of Toxic Contaminant Loadings Birds as Indicators of Contaminant Exposure in the Great Lakes Enabling Discovery and Access to USGS Great Lakes Scientific Data Through Web-Based Applications Determination of the Sensitivity of Two Species of Amphibians to Toxicity From Nitrate, Nitrite and Ammonia Toxicity Testing for Stream Dwelling Amphibians, Mussels, and Mayflies Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) - LAKE HURON Forecasting Potential Phragmites Coastal Invasion Corridors Invasive Phragmites: Prevention, Monitoring, and Control Strategies in an Integrated Pest Management Framework Characterizing Rivermouth Ecosystems Microplastics in Great Lakes Tributaries Birds as indicators of contaminants in the Great Lakes - Egg Contaminants Birds as indicators of contaminants in the Great Lakes Saginaw River Edge of Field Monitoring Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) - LAKE HURON Lakewide Management Plan Capacity Support by U.S. Geological Survey - LAKE HURON Microplastics in Great Lakes Tributaries Toxicity Testing for Stream Dwelling Amphibians, Mussels, and Mayflies Enhance Great Lakes beach recreational water quality decision making Mercury Cycling and Bioaccumulation in the Great Lakes AOC Decision Support Birds as Indicators of Contaminant Exposure in the Great Lakes Enabling Discovery and Access to USGS Great Lakes Scientific Data Through Web-Based Applications Determination of the Sensitivity of Two Species of Amphibians to Toxicity From Nitrate, Nitrite and Ammonia Forecasting Potential Phragmites Coastal Invasion Corridors Invasive Phragmites: Prevention, Monitoring, and Control Strategies in an Integrated Pest Management Framework Determine Baseline and Sources of Toxic Contaminant Loadings Birds as indicators of contaminants in the Great Lakes - Egg Contaminants Birds as indicators of contaminants in the Great Lakes Characterizing Rivermouth Ecosystems