Addressing Harmful Algal Blooms in Grand Lake St. Marys


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Stakeholder Criteria and Ecological Model:
Informing Selection of Approaches Addressing
Harmful Algal Blooms in Grand Lake St. Marys. Presented at the Ohio Academy of Sciences, 2012.

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Addressing Harmful Algal Blooms in Grand Lake St. Marys

  1. 1. Stakeholder Criteria and Ecological Model: Informing Selection of Approaches Addressing Harmful Algal Blooms in Grand Lake St. Marys Harry J. Stone, Tom Gulbransen, and Henry Pate The Ohio Academy of Science April 14, 2012 1
  2. 2. Grand Lake St Marys (GLSM) • Covers 13,500 Acres in Mercer and Auglaize Counties • Largest Inland Lake in Ohio in Terms of Land Area • Average Depth of 1.5 to 2.1 Meters Ideal for Blue-green Algae: Blue- • Temperature: >20 C • P: >80 μg/L • Flush rate: <18%/day • Limited Surface Mixing • Low Predation Pressure 2
  3. 3. Project: Evaluate Proposed Solutionsfor GLSM Harmful Algal Blooms• Sponsors – Western Ohio Education Foundation – Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Grand Lake St. Marys Restoration Commission• Near Term: Keep Lake Open for Tourism and Recreation• Long Term: Address Root Cause (P) to End HABs 3
  4. 4. Technical Challenges• Phosphorus (P) in Water Column is Root Cause: Ag Sources, Sediment P Inventory• Lakewide Approaches Needed (Very Large Lake)• Bloom Conditions Often Present – Planktothrix: put up warning signs – Planktothrix Aphanizomenon shift (N:P Ratio): close lake• Lake Chemistry Releases P: Fe (Low O2) and Al (High pH)• Wind and Carp Resuspend Shallow Lake Sediments (P)• Low Outflow Retains P in Lake• Most P Enters Lake in a Few High-Flow Rain Events• Dying Cyanobacteria Release Cyanotoxins 4
  5. 5. Approach• Compile Proposed Vendor Solutions (from Stakeholders)• Establish Selection Criteria (Stakeholder Input and Vetting)• Obtain Information on Solutions from Vendors• Apply Selection Criteria to Rate Potential Solutions• Develop Conceptual Ecological Model• Use Ecological Knowledge to Refine Selection• Facilitate Stakeholder Down-selection of Solutions• Request Demonstration of Deployed Solutions 5
  6. 6. Solutions Aim at Various PPathways & Blue-Green Algae Wastewater Treatment Restoration Options: Suitability to improve which elements of lake ecosystem? Ag P Capture Anaerobic Digestion • Agricultural Production Lake Level and Outflow • Non-point Source Runoff Loads • P Flux from Sediments Tributary Precipitate • Atmospheric Deposition Algae Harvest or • Wind Algaecide • Algae & Zooplankton Aeration/Circulation Cycling • pH, Hypoxia • Rough Fish Sediment Digestion Biomanipulation • Sediment Sequestration Wetlands/Littoral Sinks • Outflow from Lake Revegetation Chemical Sequestration Fish Harvest Sediment Use, Capture, Dredging 6
  7. 7. Request for Information (RFI) CriteriaFactors Request for InformationRelevance Which part of GLSM issue will you improve?Measurability How will improvements be evident & quantified?Solution completeness Is your proposition a turnkey solution or are local staff and additional equipment required?Readiness, Scalability Has the idea been deployed in field or just bench scale tests? Is it commercially available?Risks What are possible risks and hazards of solution?Uniqueness Describe how your proposition differs from others.Permanence When & how long will your solution improve GLSM?Transferability Describe deployments most similar to GLSM.Verification studies Provide citations or articles on efficacy.Cost considerations Describe unit and operational costs of approach.Community involvement How can regional companies and people participate? 7
  8. 8. Vendor Feedback• 75 Vendors Identified for RFI Solicitation• 39 Responses (with varying levels detail)• 4 Offered Packaged Solution in Multiple Configurations• 2 Offered Multiple Solutions• 3 Provided Insufficient Information to Evaluate Solution• 9 Contained Deal-Breaker Conditions, e.g., Reapplication to Whole Lake Multiple Times in a Season 8
  9. 9. Criteria Scoring (1 to 9 from most to leastfavorable; 7 no response; 9 deal breaker))Factor Request for InformationRelevance P load, P inventory, Algicidal, Aeration, CirculationMeasurability 1=easy, 3=technical, 5=outcome onlySolution completeness 1=turnkey, 3=adjustments, 5=product onlyReadiness, Scalability 1=commercial, 3=pilot, 5=lab benchRisks 1=none, 3=limited/acute, 5=likely/chronicUniqueness Qualitative differentiation from competitors.Responsiveness 1=within days, 3=weeks/months, 5=yearsDuration 1=permanent, 3=>3years, 5=monthsTransferability 1=same as GLSM, 3=different setting, 5=noneVerification studies 1=peer reviewed, 3=self/media, 5=noneUnit Costs 1=less than market, 3=average, 5=above marketO&M Costs 1=zero, 3=average, 5=above averageCommunity involvement 1=new jobs, 3=temporary, 5=none 9
  10. 10. Strategies•P Source Reduction (Long Term)•P Inventory Reduction (Long Term)•Blooms and Ecosystem Shifts –Circulation and Aeration (Near Term) –Algaecide (Crisis) Source: Lake Improvement Association 10
  11. 11. Multiple Criteria Decision AnalysisStrategy/Aspects/Criteria/Weight 11
  12. 12. Multiple Criteria Decision AnalysisStrategy/Aspects/Criteria/Weight 12
  13. 13. Recommended Demonstrations• P Source Reduction (Long Term) – Pilot testing of phosphorus inactivation of internal loading (alum vs. lanthanum clay) – Pilot testing of phosphorus inactivation in tributaries (dosing stations to compare the efficacy of alum and lanthanum clay)• P Inventory Reduction (Long Term) – Beneficial use of dredged sediments• Blooms and Ecosystem Shifts – Pilot testing of whole lake circulation – Pilot testing of algaecides and algaestats (highpH concern) High Cost for Whole-Lake Pilots; No Guarantee of Funding for Successful Demonstrations No Vendor Participation 13
  14. 14. Plan B: “Comparable Lake” Data• A Select Few Highly Ranked Vendors Invited to Identify a Comparable Lake Where Solution Used and Data Available• Comparable Lake Characteristics: – Large lake surface area (>10,000 acres) – Shallow lake (5-7 foot average depth) – Low turnover – High phosphorus/nitrogen inflows – Significant area of channels along shore – Summer temperatures above 20°C – Days of still air during summer 14
  15. 15. Measured Before-TreatmentCharacteristics• Water Column Summer P >200 ug/L; High Sediment P; High P in Inflows• High Chlorophyll (>250 ug/L) with >90% Cyanobacteria• Water Column Summer N >15 mg/L N); High Sediment N; High N in Inflows• High Surface Water pH (>8 with excursions to 9.5)• High pH at 0.5 Meters above Sediments (>8)• Periods of Hypoxia/Anoxia in Benthos• Cyanotoxins in Water• High Levels of Rough Fish• Minimal Amounts of Submerged or Emergent Plants• Similar Weather Patterns (Temperature, Wind, Precipitation) to GLSM• Similar Level of Treatment Required (e.g., Dosing Mass and Frequency; Number of Circulation Units) 15
  16. 16. Treatment Context and Description• All Technologies Attempted in Lake and Sequence• Specific “Dose” of Treatment• Period of Treatment• Cost per Installed Unit (or Application)• Annual Operating Costs per Installed Unit• Scheduled and Unscheduled Maintenance Costs• Infrastructure Requirements (e.g., Access to Electricity or a Dock) 16
  17. 17. Post-Treatment Measurements• Same Parameters Measured as “Before”• Water Temperature, Wind Speed and Direction, Precipitation that May Influence Outcomes• Observed Interactions of Treatment Methods• Indicators of Data Quality Before and after use of technology. Source: Marine Techno Research, Inc., 17
  18. 18. Lessons Learned• Short Term Tourism Survival Must Be Addressed Synergistically with Long Term Nutrient Reductions• Expert Decision Support Can Be Integrated with Stakeholder Decision Making to Screen Potential Solutions• Critical Knowledge Gaps May Be Addressed through Demonstrations and Pilot Projects, but…• Business Decisions to Demonstrate Technologies Depend on Likelihood of Financial Reward• Data from Comparable Lakes May Provide an Alternative Approach to Fill Critical Knowledge Gaps 18
  19. 19. Thank You 19