Research supported by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) will provide the majority of scientific information incorporated into public meetings convened by the International Joint Commission (IJC) in August and September. Eight community meetings in both the U.S. and Canada will seek input from the public about concerns regarding nutrient pollution and its effect on noxious summer algae blooms.
NCCOS research identified multiple sources of phosphorus loads into Lake Erie, how different climate scenarios might affect the amount and timing of those inputs, and how nutrient loads impact the development of hypoxia in the lake. They are also assessing the adequacy of phosphorus monitoring programs and the effectiveness of agricultural and urban best management practices and other alternative solutions to reducing nutrient loads.
This foundational work will be incorporated into a plan under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to help governments address the challenges facing Lake Erie.