LaMP: Lake Erie Nutrient Strategy


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Lake Erie LaMP Nutrient Management Strategy

Prepared by Sandra George
Canadian Co-chair Lake Erie LaMP

Published in: Education, Technology
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LaMP: Lake Erie Nutrient Strategy

  1. 1. Lake Erie LaMP Nutrient Management Strategy Prepared by Sandra George Canadian Co-chair Lake Erie LaMP
  2. 2. Lake Erie Nutrient Related concerns: • Drinking water safety - HABs • Unstable fish communities • Declines in property values • Disruptions in foodweb and energy flow • Degraded habitats especially nearshore ,wetlands and tributaries • Increases in Cladophora and Plectonema biomass • Botulism Outbreaks • Fish and wildlife kills • Beach contamination & closures • Added costs to municipalities, industry and citizens
  3. 3. Key Initiatives (2007-2010) • Binational Nutrient Management Plan – State of Nutrient Science report (fall 2009) – Development of TP indicator (June 2009) – Nutrient Management Strategy discussion doc (June 2009) – Marketing and Communication Strategy (March 10) – Coordination and Reporting Framework (June 2010) • Related Activities – Assessments & Integrated Water Resource Management Plans – Continue to develop Lake Erie LaMP Indicators – Engage Lake Erie Municipalities – Cooperative Monitoring Program 2009 – Review LaMP structure
  4. 4. The Nutrient Management Strategy identifies binational: • Goals • Objectives • Indicators & Targets • Principles • Status of Nutrients & Management Actions • Mitigation Priorities including watersheds • Monitoring Priorities • Research Priorities • Reporting requirements
  5. 5. Lake Erie Binational Nutrient Management Plan Goals: Lake Erie LaMP Nutrient inputs from both point and non-point sources are managed to ensure that ambient concentrations are within bounds of sustainable watershed management and consistent with the Lake Erie Vision. GLWQA A substantial reduction in the present levels of algal biomass to levels below a nuisance condition including bays and other areas where nuisance algal blooms may occur (GLWQA Annex 3-1)
  6. 6. Objectives of Strategy • Stop further degradation! WB Sept 2009 • Conserve and Protect waters that meet nutrient targets • Restore waters that don’t meet nutrient targets • Monitor and Report on status of nutrients against targets and progress of domestic actions
  7. 7. Total Phosphorus Indicator Targets (adopted by LE LaMP manager June 2009 as provisional targets) Habitat Types TP Target (mean average annual conc ug/L Tributaries 30 (25-30) Coastal Wetland 30 (20-30) Nearshore 20 (15-20) West Basin 15 (15-18) Central & East Basins 10 (10-13.5)
  8. 8. Strategy Principles • Adaptive management • Precautionary principle • Government Responsibility • Shared Responsibility • Accountability • Pollution Prevention • Integration and Cooperation
  9. 9. Key Findings ( Houston we have a problem !) (western basin Sept 2009)
  10. 10. Status of Offshore Waters • Not consistently meeting 11,000 tonnes/yr loading target • Western basin rarely meets GLWQA TP target concentration in spring or summer • Central and Eastern basin mostly meets targets in summer; occasionally in spring • 48% of loadings to offshore waters comes from western basin watersheds • Increases in nutrient loads exacerbate dissolved oxygen problems in central basin WB Sept 2009
  11. 11. Status of Nearshore Waters • Both offshore and local inputs of Phosphorus are driving nearshore conditions • Reduction in offshore and tributary TP concentrations is needed. • Cladophora in eastern basin • Plectonema in Maumee Bay • Microcystis in western basin • Increased costs to water treatment plants to remove potential harmful algal toxins • Periodic fish and wildlife kills due to elevated algal toxin levels in water
  12. 12. Status of Tributaries • Large rivers contributing majority of TP • Smaller rivers may be impacting localized nearshore areas, especially after significant storm events • Trenton Channel- high TP, most likely from Detroit WWTP • Maumee and Sandusky rivers contributing the biggest contributors of TP to Lake Erie • SRP appears to be increasing disproportionably to TP in tributaries • Agriculturally dominated watersheds appear to be highest contributors
  13. 13. Status of Management Actions • Current nutrient management actions and programs are not achieving the nutrient levels required to achieve the Lake Erie LaMP Vision • Significant improvements in nutrient reductions can be achieved through optimizing existing programs, better coordination and reporting, broader application • Develop implementation framework to improve coordination and accountability • If optimization of existing programs cannot achieve LaMP nutrient targets, then new programs should be considered • Improved Action is needed urgently!
  14. 14. Nutrient Mitigation Priorities • Reduce Non-point source inputs substantially • Reduce Point Source – municipal & industrial • Restore functional landscapes and hydrological processes • Improve habitat amount, complexity, linkages • Understand emerging issues (science) • Evaluate effectiveness of actions (monitor)
  15. 15. Nutrient Mitigation Priorities Specifically: • Focused action needs to occur in the Trenton Channel-Detroit River, Maumee River, Sandusky River, Grand River (ON) and Thames River. • Priorities should be guided by total phosphorus indicator results. • Actions taken to reduce nutrient loading in smaller tributaries will benefit the local nearshore areas of the lake • Discharges from municipal and industrial sources should be examined to determine if nutrient reductions can be achieved. • The Detroit Waste-water Treatment Plant should be reviewed • Focused actions are needed in watersheds with significant agricultural lands as they have been shown to be more likely to discharge nutrients. • Discharges from septic systems should be examined to determine if nutrient reductions can be achieved. • Actions to address climate change and invasive species influence nutirnt are required, at the same time as reducing the nutrients available
  16. 16. Research Priorities Governments need to commit to supporting scientific research that provides the information and technology necessary to maintain and improve management decision making regarding the nutrient conditions in Lake Erie. • Understand ecosystem processes and how nutrient are utilized by different component of the ecosystem • Understand how human activities change and the impact on nutrient conditions in the Lake Erie • Prediction of outcomes through modeling is essential for adaptive management. • Develop new & evaluate existing beneficial management practices and new technologies • Understand role of climate change • Facilitate the communication science findings to the management community and beyond
  17. 17. Monitoring LaMP is the mechanism for establishing binational monitoring priorities for Lake Erie Adaptive Management: monitoring is of equal value to the identification and implementation of actions.
  18. 18. Monitoring to… • Determine and report on progress towards nutrient concentration targets/indicators, • Allow identification of significant relationships between human uses and ecosystem responses change that can then be responded to early, minimizing potential harm to the ecosystem and the services it provides, • Assist in setting research and monitoring priorities and commitments by the LaMP community, and • Evaluate the success of implementation activities and identify where more work needs to be done.
  19. 19. Ecosystem Status & Response Reporting • Will use the monitoring and research data acquired over the five- year cycle • Results compared against agreed to targets and indicators. • Results will be compared against previously collected data and identify where trends exist. • Reports will be short, map-based, and visual using GIS technology. • Will be released as part of the LaMP 5-yr cycle.
  20. 20. Progress Reporting • Regular reporting presented to the LaMP Work Group & Management Committee • Allows for regular discussions on progress/ impediments to progress, and allows agencies to prioritize and align their commitments to the LaMP with their respective agency programs, policies and regulations.
  21. 21. Next Steps…. • Creating a Framework for domestic action • Binational Agreement • Domestic Work Plans • LaMP Binational Work Plans • 5-year LaMP Cycle • Marketing and communications plan