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Mussel Watch Data Presented at Great Lakes Mercury Workshop

On May 30-31, NOAA Mussel Watch program data, collected by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, was presented at “Mercury in the Great Lakes,” a workshop organized by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes National Program Office/Region 5 and the U.S. Geological Survey. NCCOS has been monitoring a wide array of contaminants, including mercury, […]

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Complex Control of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie by Small Zooplankton and Nutrients

Cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) are on the rise in the U.S. and worldwide, becoming a serious threat to freshwater resources and public health because of their toxins and disruptive effects on ecosystems. Ongoing research funded by the National Center for Coastal Ocean Science is uncovering the secrets of why cyanobacteria are so successful. […]

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Lake Erie’s “Backwards” Circulation Explained

Researchers have discovered that during the summer, Lake Erie circulates in an opposite direction than other lakes in the Northern Hemisphere. Instead of currents rotating in a counter-clockwise (“cyclonic”) direction driven by the rotation of the earth, central Lake Erie has a clockwise current driven by summer winds. This causes a bowl-shaped, or inverted, thermocline that is […]

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International Joint Commission Committed to Address Nutrient Problems in Lake Erie

Lake Erie is the shallowest and smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and is heavily influenced by agricultural and urban runoff.  It is subject to periodic outbreaks of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and hypoxia. These problems were identified as the highest priority of the International Joint Commission (IJC) as it drafts guidelines and targets […]

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NCCOS Scientists Met with Great Lakes Regional Committee to Discuss Enhanced NOAA Mussel Watch Capabilities for Answering Regional Management Questions on Contaminants

Representatives from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science met with the Federal-State Areas of Concern Coordinating Committee (FEDSTACC), a group of regional stakeholders from across the Great Lakes basin, to discuss the common goals of removing EPA-designated Beneficial Use Impairments (BUI) from designated sites and monitoring the recovery of EPA-designated Areas of Concern (AOCs), areas defined by […]

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NCCOS and NIST Scientists Propose Using “Chemical Footprints” to Enhance NOAA Mussel Watch Program’s Monitoring of EPA- designated Areas of Concern

EPA Region 5 in Chicago recently hosted the second meeting on “effects-based” monitoring in the Great Lakes and scientists from NCCOS’ Mussel Watch Program attended. Scientists have long recognized that chemical contaminant monitoring in environmental matrices is expensive and limited in its ability to identify ecological risk. Molecular, biochemical, histological and morphological changes in organisms are useful to risk […]

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NOAA awards grant to develop a biofilter to remove algal toxins from the Great Lakes

This article was first published by NOAA. NOAA has awarded a team of scientists $182,982 for the first year of an anticipated four-year $703,777 project for research that could lead to an instrument, called a biofilter, that could break down harmful algal toxins in the Great Lakes into harmless byproducts. This project will build on previous research […]

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New Pollution Scoring System Helps Identify Top Targets for Clean-Up

New published research by scientists at the National Centers for Coastal Science demonstrates an improved approach for calculating and comparing bioeffects levels in different places. Using a single numerical score, rather than the traditional system based on 3 distinct data sets (benthic community structure, sediment contamination, and sediment toxicity, known as the sediment quality triad) […]

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