A 2014 special issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research details the findings of a five-year, NCCOS-funded project in Michigan’s Saginaw Bay designed to better inform bay restoration efforts. The special issue highlights research results from studies that address the bay’s various environmental stressors.
Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron and its surrounding watershed support a wide variety of plants, animals, agriculture, and recreational opportunities. However, rapid industrialization and local population growth in the last century have strained the region’s natural resources. Excessive nutrient loading, elevated bacteria levels, aquatic habitat loss, invasive species, and chemical contamination have all modified this coastal ecosystem. These multiple stressors have contributed to declining fish and wildlife populations, loss of coastal wetlands, water quality concerns, beach closures, and the buildup of contaminants in the food web.
Scientists from NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory led the five-year project in partnership with an interdisciplinary research team, contributing to an updated picture on the state of Saginaw Bay. The project’s studies support an adaptive management process that requires monitoring, learning, and refining management actions based on an improved understanding of ecosystem behavior. Data and results from the project support the goals of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 2012 between Canada and the United States.
For more information, contact Elizabeth.Turner@noaa.gov.