Great Lakes Restoration Initiative gets help from NOAA
NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science enhanced its monitoring effort in the Great Lakes this year and proposed further enhancement for FY2011 to assist EPA in their restoration efforts. Eleven new sites were established in “Areas of Concern” along Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence River. The contaminant monitoring in shellfish tissue and sediment will include chemicals of emerging concern, such as flame retardants (PBDEs) and perfluorinated compounds (common in stain-resistant products) in order to identify potential new threats to the ecosystem. The contaminant information will be assessed relative to less impacted areas of the Great Lakes, and the nation, to assess the effectiveness of remediation efforts. In addition, Mussel Watch is collaborating with others to assess animal diversity (GLERL) and the effects of these contaminants on the resident aquatic life (NOAA partners in Charleston and USGS). The ultimate outcomes of this effort include improved water quality and increased ecosystem health for the protection of aquatic resources. For more information visit the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative web site and NOAA’s Enhanced Mussel Watch effort.