Capitol Hill Briefing and Webinar: Study Evaluates Water Quality Monitoring in Lake Erie Basin

When: July 14, 2015, 10 AM
Where: Capitol Visitor Center, SVC-209
Elin Betanzo, Northeast-Midwest Institute
Michael Goff, Northeast-Midwest Institute
Lana Pollack, International Joint Commission
Larry Antosch, Ohio Farm Bureau
Honorary Sponsor: Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio

RSVP: Danielle Chesky,

Following the release of the Northeast-Midwest Institute’s study on water quality monitoring in the Lake Erie drainage basin, the Institute will host a Capitol Hill briefing on July 14 to provide an overview of the study’s findings and recommendations for improving water quality monitoring. Given recent announcements by the States of Ohio and Michigan and the Province of Ontario to reduce nutrient inputs by 40%, efficient, effective, and coordinated monitoring will be essential for evaluating management practices to improve the health of Lake Erie.

Record harmful algal blooms driven by nutrient loadings to Lake Erie have affected water quality, fish populations, tourism and the economy across the entire Lake Erie region for the past several years, including the 2014 bloom that restricted drinking water for 400,000 Toledo-area (Ohio) residents. Agriculture is the dominant land use in the western Lake Erie drainage basin where nonpoint nutrient sources account for 71 percent of the nutrient load to Lake Erie (Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force, 2010). Consequently, agricultural management practices are among the most important tools for reducing nutrient loads that lead to harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. The Northeast-Midwest Institute evaluated whether current water quality monitoring in the Lake Erie drainage basin is adequate to measure the effectiveness of agricultural management practices for improving the health of Lake Erie. The study results will be presented at the briefing, including recommendations for monitoring and coordination moving forward.