On Nov 19, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) researchers met with local partners working on restoring Lake Erie’s ecosystem to review the unusual 2012 algal blooms, and assess the 2012 bloom forecast. This year there were unusual blooms along the center of the lake, both in late winter and in early summer.
The forecast for the western basin correctly identified a bloom that was about 1/10 the size of the record breaking 2011 bloom. Further, this bloom was milder than any of the previous four years but still not as mild as the forecast had predicted. This combination of events points to the need for new strategies to evaluate existing data and plans for monitoring in 2013.
The local partners includeOhio’s Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, Ohio’s Sea Grant, and several university faculty members.