Table of contents
  1. Story
  2. Slides
    1. Slide 1 Data Science for EPA's Chief Data Scientist: Big Data for Nutrients and Air Quality
    2. Slide 2 Agenda
    3. Slide 3 Purpose
    4. Slide 4 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit
    5. Slide 5 Outline
    6. Slide 6 Earth Insights from Big Data
    7. Slide 7 EPA Data Science Meetup History
    8. Slide 8 Translating Big Data into Big Climate Ideas
    9. Slide 9 Joan Aron Comments and Suggestions 1
    10. Slide 10 Response from Anne Neale, EnviroAtlas Project Lead, US EPA, RTP, NC
    11. Slide 11 EPA EnviroAtlas 2015 Data
    12. Slide 12 EPA EnviroAtlas 2015 Disclaimer 1
    13. Slide 13 EPA EnviroAtlas 2015 Disclaimer 2
    14. Slide 14 Data Science for EPA EnviroAtlas Knowledge Base
    15. Slide 15 EnviroAtlas 2015 GDB-to-SHP Files: National
    16. Slide 16 EnviroAtlas 2015 GDB-to-SHP Files: Portland
    17. Slide 17 EnviroAtlas 2015 GDB-to-SHP Files: Portland - Spotfire
    18. Slide 18 Joan Aron Comments and Suggestions 2
    19. Slide 19 Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool
    20. Slide 20 Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Viewer: Map Layers
    21. Slide 21 Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Viewer: Data Download
    22. Slide 22 Data Download
    23. Slide 23 EPA N & P Data Ecosystem Spreadsheet
    24. Slide 24 Ohio Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program
    25. Slide 25 The Ohio Maumee River Watershed
    26. Slide 26 Ohio Watershed Data Ecosystem Spreadsheet
    27. Slide 27 EPA N & P Data Ecosystem - Spotfire
    28. Slide 28 Agenda
  3. Spotfire Dashboard
  4. Slides
    1. Slide 1 Data Science for the Map of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects for the NDSO Challenge
    2. Slide 2 Introduction and Recommendations
    3. Slide 3 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit
    4. Slide 4 Map of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects
    5. Slide 5 Commons Lab Map of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects
    6. Slide 6 Commons Lab Database of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects: Alaska Volcano Observatory Citizen Network Ash Collection and Observation Program
    7. Slide 7 Commons Lab: Submit a New Project
    8. Slide 8 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects:Speadsheet
    9. Slide 9 Spotfire Imports Boundary Files and Geocodes Data
    10. Slide 10 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects: Spotfire
    11. Slide 11 Anne Bowser
    12. Slide 12 Database of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects
    13. Slide 13 Goal: International network of citizen science data
  5. Spotfire Dashboard
  6. Research Notes
  7. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool
    1. Quick Links
    2. Data Access Tool to Help States Develop Strategies to Address Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution
      1. Data Access Tool
      2. Tutorial
      3. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Loadings
      4. Water Quality Data and Information
      5. State, Tribal, and Hydrologic Boundaries
      6. Loadings
        1. SPARROW (short for SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes)
        2. Major River Basin Models
        3. Mississippi Basin Models
      7. Water Quality Data and Information
        1. Water Quality Monitoring Data
        2. National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) N/P values
      8. Setting Watershed Load Reduction Goals/Source Control Priorities
        1. Newly Updated! Facilities Likely to Discharge N/P to Water
        2. NPDES Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) Summary
        3. National Land Cover Dataset
        4. Newly Updated! Waters Listed for N/P Impairments
        5. Newly Updated! Waters with N/P Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
        6. Newly Updated! Drinking Water Sources
        7. Coming Soon! Active, Nutrient-Related Clean Water Act Section 319 Projects
      9. State, Tribal, and Hydrologic Boundaries
        1. States
        2. American Indian Tribal Lands
        3. 8-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC8) Watersheds
        4. Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin
    3. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Downloads
  8. EPA Nutrient Indicators Dataset
  9. Ohio Watershed TMDLs
  10. Taken by Storm
    1. Executive Summary
      1. Figure 1. Rain Contribution to Harmful Algal Blooms
      2. Figure 2. Summary of Storm Snapshot Years, Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus (DRP) Loads at Waterville, OH6 and Harmful Algal Bloom Size
      3. Agricultural Practices
      4. Federal/State Policy
    2. Introduction
      1. Figure 3. Map of Lake Erie Drainages (USGS 2000)
      2. Phosphorus and HABs: The Basics
      3. The Price of HABs: impacts on Wildlife
        1. Risk is greatest when algal blooms are thickest. (Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory/ Flickr Creative Commons September 10, 2009)
      4. HABs, Shifting Agricultural Practices, and Large Rain Events
        1. Figure 4. Years and Storms and DRPs
        2. Figure 5. Increases in the Number of Days with Very Heavy Precipitation from 1958 to 2007. (USGCRP 2009)
        3. A toxic Microcystis bloom washes up on the shore of Maumee Bay in western Lake Erie on August 29, 2011. (Photo: S. Bihn, Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper)
    3. Storm Snapshots and Agal Blooms
      1. Storm Snap Shot 1: 1998’s Wet June, Green Lake
        1. Figure 6. Ohio Statewide Precipitation Amounts for June 1998
        2. Maumee at Waterville 1998 USGS
      2. Storm Snap Shot 2: 1999’s Less Rain, Low DRP
      3. Storm Snap Shot 3: 2001 Dry Spring, No Newsworthy Bloom
      4. Storm Snap Shot 4: 2002 Swings of Wet and dry, the Bloom didn’t Lie
      5. Storm Snap Shot 5: 2003 Rain Rain, Won’t go Away
        1. Figure 7. (Top) Lake Erie September 6, 2003 (MODIS Aqua NASA Visible Earth) (Bottom) Lake Erie November 20, 2003 (MODIS Aqua NASA Visible Earth)
        2. Figure 8. National Ranks of Precipitation from April through September 2003. Ohio ranks among the wettest in the country. (NCDC NOAA 2012)
      6. Storm Snap Shot 6: 2008 Record Breaking, Lake Loading
        1. Figure 9. National Ranks of Precipitation from April through September 2008. Ohio ranks among the wettest in the country. (NCDC NOAA 2012)
      7. Storm Snap Shot 7: 2011 New decade, decadal-Sized Blooms
        1. Figure 10. Lake Erie October 9, 2011 (Earth Observatory NASA)
        2. Figure 11. Wake following a small boat on Lake Erie in July 2011 (NOAA/NCCOS)
      8. Storm Snap Shot 8: 2012 drier Year, Smaller Bloom
        1. Figure 12. National Ranks of Precipitation from February through July 2012. Ohio ranks among the driest in the country. (NCDC NOAA 2012)
        2. Common egret in grassy area. (Photo by Gary Kramer / U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service)
    4. Conclusions and Recommendations
      1. Recommendations
        1. Accounting for Climate Change in Land Management
          1. Buffer Strips in Northwest Ohio, USDA 2001
        2. Nutrient Management Practices for Agriculture
        3. State Policies and Laws
        4. Federal Clean Water Act
        5. Federal Agriculture Programs
        6. Federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)
        7. International Bodies and Agreements
        8. Research
        9. Reduce carbon pollution
        10. Monitoring
        11. Public Watch and Education
    5. Endnotes
    6. Back Page
      1. Ducks in wetland. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service)
  11. NEXT

Data Science for EPA Nutrient Data

Last modified
Table of contents
  1. Story
  2. Slides
    1. Slide 1 Data Science for EPA's Chief Data Scientist: Big Data for Nutrients and Air Quality
    2. Slide 2 Agenda
    3. Slide 3 Purpose
    4. Slide 4 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit
    5. Slide 5 Outline
    6. Slide 6 Earth Insights from Big Data
    7. Slide 7 EPA Data Science Meetup History
    8. Slide 8 Translating Big Data into Big Climate Ideas
    9. Slide 9 Joan Aron Comments and Suggestions 1
    10. Slide 10 Response from Anne Neale, EnviroAtlas Project Lead, US EPA, RTP, NC
    11. Slide 11 EPA EnviroAtlas 2015 Data
    12. Slide 12 EPA EnviroAtlas 2015 Disclaimer 1
    13. Slide 13 EPA EnviroAtlas 2015 Disclaimer 2
    14. Slide 14 Data Science for EPA EnviroAtlas Knowledge Base
    15. Slide 15 EnviroAtlas 2015 GDB-to-SHP Files: National
    16. Slide 16 EnviroAtlas 2015 GDB-to-SHP Files: Portland
    17. Slide 17 EnviroAtlas 2015 GDB-to-SHP Files: Portland - Spotfire
    18. Slide 18 Joan Aron Comments and Suggestions 2
    19. Slide 19 Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool
    20. Slide 20 Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Viewer: Map Layers
    21. Slide 21 Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Viewer: Data Download
    22. Slide 22 Data Download
    23. Slide 23 EPA N & P Data Ecosystem Spreadsheet
    24. Slide 24 Ohio Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program
    25. Slide 25 The Ohio Maumee River Watershed
    26. Slide 26 Ohio Watershed Data Ecosystem Spreadsheet
    27. Slide 27 EPA N & P Data Ecosystem - Spotfire
    28. Slide 28 Agenda
  3. Spotfire Dashboard
  4. Slides
    1. Slide 1 Data Science for the Map of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects for the NDSO Challenge
    2. Slide 2 Introduction and Recommendations
    3. Slide 3 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit
    4. Slide 4 Map of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects
    5. Slide 5 Commons Lab Map of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects
    6. Slide 6 Commons Lab Database of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects: Alaska Volcano Observatory Citizen Network Ash Collection and Observation Program
    7. Slide 7 Commons Lab: Submit a New Project
    8. Slide 8 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects:Speadsheet
    9. Slide 9 Spotfire Imports Boundary Files and Geocodes Data
    10. Slide 10 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects: Spotfire
    11. Slide 11 Anne Bowser
    12. Slide 12 Database of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects
    13. Slide 13 Goal: International network of citizen science data
  5. Spotfire Dashboard
  6. Research Notes
  7. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool
    1. Quick Links
    2. Data Access Tool to Help States Develop Strategies to Address Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution
      1. Data Access Tool
      2. Tutorial
      3. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Loadings
      4. Water Quality Data and Information
      5. State, Tribal, and Hydrologic Boundaries
      6. Loadings
        1. SPARROW (short for SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes)
        2. Major River Basin Models
        3. Mississippi Basin Models
      7. Water Quality Data and Information
        1. Water Quality Monitoring Data
        2. National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) N/P values
      8. Setting Watershed Load Reduction Goals/Source Control Priorities
        1. Newly Updated! Facilities Likely to Discharge N/P to Water
        2. NPDES Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) Summary
        3. National Land Cover Dataset
        4. Newly Updated! Waters Listed for N/P Impairments
        5. Newly Updated! Waters with N/P Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
        6. Newly Updated! Drinking Water Sources
        7. Coming Soon! Active, Nutrient-Related Clean Water Act Section 319 Projects
      9. State, Tribal, and Hydrologic Boundaries
        1. States
        2. American Indian Tribal Lands
        3. 8-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC8) Watersheds
        4. Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin
    3. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Downloads
  8. EPA Nutrient Indicators Dataset
  9. Ohio Watershed TMDLs
  10. Taken by Storm
    1. Executive Summary
      1. Figure 1. Rain Contribution to Harmful Algal Blooms
      2. Figure 2. Summary of Storm Snapshot Years, Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus (DRP) Loads at Waterville, OH6 and Harmful Algal Bloom Size
      3. Agricultural Practices
      4. Federal/State Policy
    2. Introduction
      1. Figure 3. Map of Lake Erie Drainages (USGS 2000)
      2. Phosphorus and HABs: The Basics
      3. The Price of HABs: impacts on Wildlife
        1. Risk is greatest when algal blooms are thickest. (Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory/ Flickr Creative Commons September 10, 2009)
      4. HABs, Shifting Agricultural Practices, and Large Rain Events
        1. Figure 4. Years and Storms and DRPs
        2. Figure 5. Increases in the Number of Days with Very Heavy Precipitation from 1958 to 2007. (USGCRP 2009)
        3. A toxic Microcystis bloom washes up on the shore of Maumee Bay in western Lake Erie on August 29, 2011. (Photo: S. Bihn, Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper)
    3. Storm Snapshots and Agal Blooms
      1. Storm Snap Shot 1: 1998’s Wet June, Green Lake
        1. Figure 6. Ohio Statewide Precipitation Amounts for June 1998
        2. Maumee at Waterville 1998 USGS
      2. Storm Snap Shot 2: 1999’s Less Rain, Low DRP
      3. Storm Snap Shot 3: 2001 Dry Spring, No Newsworthy Bloom
      4. Storm Snap Shot 4: 2002 Swings of Wet and dry, the Bloom didn’t Lie
      5. Storm Snap Shot 5: 2003 Rain Rain, Won’t go Away
        1. Figure 7. (Top) Lake Erie September 6, 2003 (MODIS Aqua NASA Visible Earth) (Bottom) Lake Erie November 20, 2003 (MODIS Aqua NASA Visible Earth)
        2. Figure 8. National Ranks of Precipitation from April through September 2003. Ohio ranks among the wettest in the country. (NCDC NOAA 2012)
      6. Storm Snap Shot 6: 2008 Record Breaking, Lake Loading
        1. Figure 9. National Ranks of Precipitation from April through September 2008. Ohio ranks among the wettest in the country. (NCDC NOAA 2012)
      7. Storm Snap Shot 7: 2011 New decade, decadal-Sized Blooms
        1. Figure 10. Lake Erie October 9, 2011 (Earth Observatory NASA)
        2. Figure 11. Wake following a small boat on Lake Erie in July 2011 (NOAA/NCCOS)
      8. Storm Snap Shot 8: 2012 drier Year, Smaller Bloom
        1. Figure 12. National Ranks of Precipitation from February through July 2012. Ohio ranks among the driest in the country. (NCDC NOAA 2012)
        2. Common egret in grassy area. (Photo by Gary Kramer / U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service)
    4. Conclusions and Recommendations
      1. Recommendations
        1. Accounting for Climate Change in Land Management
          1. Buffer Strips in Northwest Ohio, USDA 2001
        2. Nutrient Management Practices for Agriculture
        3. State Policies and Laws
        4. Federal Clean Water Act
        5. Federal Agriculture Programs
        6. Federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)
        7. International Bodies and Agreements
        8. Research
        9. Reduce carbon pollution
        10. Monitoring
        11. Public Watch and Education
    5. Endnotes
    6. Back Page
      1. Ducks in wetland. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service)
  11. NEXT

  1. Story
  2. Slides
    1. Slide 1 Data Science for EPA's Chief Data Scientist: Big Data for Nutrients and Air Quality
    2. Slide 2 Agenda
    3. Slide 3 Purpose
    4. Slide 4 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit
    5. Slide 5 Outline
    6. Slide 6 Earth Insights from Big Data
    7. Slide 7 EPA Data Science Meetup History
    8. Slide 8 Translating Big Data into Big Climate Ideas
    9. Slide 9 Joan Aron Comments and Suggestions 1
    10. Slide 10 Response from Anne Neale, EnviroAtlas Project Lead, US EPA, RTP, NC
    11. Slide 11 EPA EnviroAtlas 2015 Data
    12. Slide 12 EPA EnviroAtlas 2015 Disclaimer 1
    13. Slide 13 EPA EnviroAtlas 2015 Disclaimer 2
    14. Slide 14 Data Science for EPA EnviroAtlas Knowledge Base
    15. Slide 15 EnviroAtlas 2015 GDB-to-SHP Files: National
    16. Slide 16 EnviroAtlas 2015 GDB-to-SHP Files: Portland
    17. Slide 17 EnviroAtlas 2015 GDB-to-SHP Files: Portland - Spotfire
    18. Slide 18 Joan Aron Comments and Suggestions 2
    19. Slide 19 Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool
    20. Slide 20 Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Viewer: Map Layers
    21. Slide 21 Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Viewer: Data Download
    22. Slide 22 Data Download
    23. Slide 23 EPA N & P Data Ecosystem Spreadsheet
    24. Slide 24 Ohio Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program
    25. Slide 25 The Ohio Maumee River Watershed
    26. Slide 26 Ohio Watershed Data Ecosystem Spreadsheet
    27. Slide 27 EPA N & P Data Ecosystem - Spotfire
    28. Slide 28 Agenda
  3. Spotfire Dashboard
  4. Slides
    1. Slide 1 Data Science for the Map of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects for the NDSO Challenge
    2. Slide 2 Introduction and Recommendations
    3. Slide 3 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit
    4. Slide 4 Map of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects
    5. Slide 5 Commons Lab Map of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects
    6. Slide 6 Commons Lab Database of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects: Alaska Volcano Observatory Citizen Network Ash Collection and Observation Program
    7. Slide 7 Commons Lab: Submit a New Project
    8. Slide 8 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects:Speadsheet
    9. Slide 9 Spotfire Imports Boundary Files and Geocodes Data
    10. Slide 10 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects: Spotfire
    11. Slide 11 Anne Bowser
    12. Slide 12 Database of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects
    13. Slide 13 Goal: International network of citizen science data
  5. Spotfire Dashboard
  6. Research Notes
  7. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool
    1. Quick Links
    2. Data Access Tool to Help States Develop Strategies to Address Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution
      1. Data Access Tool
      2. Tutorial
      3. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Loadings
      4. Water Quality Data and Information
      5. State, Tribal, and Hydrologic Boundaries
      6. Loadings
        1. SPARROW (short for SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes)
        2. Major River Basin Models
        3. Mississippi Basin Models
      7. Water Quality Data and Information
        1. Water Quality Monitoring Data
        2. National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) N/P values
      8. Setting Watershed Load Reduction Goals/Source Control Priorities
        1. Newly Updated! Facilities Likely to Discharge N/P to Water
        2. NPDES Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) Summary
        3. National Land Cover Dataset
        4. Newly Updated! Waters Listed for N/P Impairments
        5. Newly Updated! Waters with N/P Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
        6. Newly Updated! Drinking Water Sources
        7. Coming Soon! Active, Nutrient-Related Clean Water Act Section 319 Projects
      9. State, Tribal, and Hydrologic Boundaries
        1. States
        2. American Indian Tribal Lands
        3. 8-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC8) Watersheds
        4. Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin
    3. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Downloads
  8. EPA Nutrient Indicators Dataset
  9. Ohio Watershed TMDLs
  10. Taken by Storm
    1. Executive Summary
      1. Figure 1. Rain Contribution to Harmful Algal Blooms
      2. Figure 2. Summary of Storm Snapshot Years, Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus (DRP) Loads at Waterville, OH6 and Harmful Algal Bloom Size
      3. Agricultural Practices
      4. Federal/State Policy
    2. Introduction
      1. Figure 3. Map of Lake Erie Drainages (USGS 2000)
      2. Phosphorus and HABs: The Basics
      3. The Price of HABs: impacts on Wildlife
        1. Risk is greatest when algal blooms are thickest. (Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory/ Flickr Creative Commons September 10, 2009)
      4. HABs, Shifting Agricultural Practices, and Large Rain Events
        1. Figure 4. Years and Storms and DRPs
        2. Figure 5. Increases in the Number of Days with Very Heavy Precipitation from 1958 to 2007. (USGCRP 2009)
        3. A toxic Microcystis bloom washes up on the shore of Maumee Bay in western Lake Erie on August 29, 2011. (Photo: S. Bihn, Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper)
    3. Storm Snapshots and Agal Blooms
      1. Storm Snap Shot 1: 1998’s Wet June, Green Lake
        1. Figure 6. Ohio Statewide Precipitation Amounts for June 1998
        2. Maumee at Waterville 1998 USGS
      2. Storm Snap Shot 2: 1999’s Less Rain, Low DRP
      3. Storm Snap Shot 3: 2001 Dry Spring, No Newsworthy Bloom
      4. Storm Snap Shot 4: 2002 Swings of Wet and dry, the Bloom didn’t Lie
      5. Storm Snap Shot 5: 2003 Rain Rain, Won’t go Away
        1. Figure 7. (Top) Lake Erie September 6, 2003 (MODIS Aqua NASA Visible Earth) (Bottom) Lake Erie November 20, 2003 (MODIS Aqua NASA Visible Earth)
        2. Figure 8. National Ranks of Precipitation from April through September 2003. Ohio ranks among the wettest in the country. (NCDC NOAA 2012)
      6. Storm Snap Shot 6: 2008 Record Breaking, Lake Loading
        1. Figure 9. National Ranks of Precipitation from April through September 2008. Ohio ranks among the wettest in the country. (NCDC NOAA 2012)
      7. Storm Snap Shot 7: 2011 New decade, decadal-Sized Blooms
        1. Figure 10. Lake Erie October 9, 2011 (Earth Observatory NASA)
        2. Figure 11. Wake following a small boat on Lake Erie in July 2011 (NOAA/NCCOS)
      8. Storm Snap Shot 8: 2012 drier Year, Smaller Bloom
        1. Figure 12. National Ranks of Precipitation from February through July 2012. Ohio ranks among the driest in the country. (NCDC NOAA 2012)
        2. Common egret in grassy area. (Photo by Gary Kramer / U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service)
    4. Conclusions and Recommendations
      1. Recommendations
        1. Accounting for Climate Change in Land Management
          1. Buffer Strips in Northwest Ohio, USDA 2001
        2. Nutrient Management Practices for Agriculture
        3. State Policies and Laws
        4. Federal Clean Water Act
        5. Federal Agriculture Programs
        6. Federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)
        7. International Bodies and Agreements
        8. Research
        9. Reduce carbon pollution
        10. Monitoring
        11. Public Watch and Education
    5. Endnotes
    6. Back Page
      1. Ducks in wetland. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service)
  11. NEXT

Story

Data Science for the EPA Nutrient Indicators Data: National to Watershed

This data science data publication integrates for following four data sources:

Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool

EPA Nutrient Indicators Dataset

Ohio Watershed TMDLs

Taken by Storm

MORE TO FOLLOW

Also see Data Science for the Map of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects for the NDSO Challenge:

Slides and Spotfire Dashboard

Slides

Slides

Slide 1 Data Science for EPA's Chief Data Scientist: Big Data for Nutrients and Air Quality

Semantic Community

Data Science

Data Science for EPA EnviroAtlas

Data Science for EPA Big Data Analytics

BrandNiemann10192015Slide1.PNG

Slide 4 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit

https://crowdsourcing-toolkit.sites....ensor-toolbox/

BrandNiemann10192015Slide4.PNG

Slide 5 Outline

BrandNiemann10192015Slide5.PNG

Slide 6 Earth Insights from Big Data

Semantic Community

Data Science

Earth Insights from Big Data

BrandNiemann10192015Slide6.PNG

Slide 7 EPA Data Science Meetup History

BrandNiemann10192015Slide7.PNG

Slide 8 Translating Big Data into Big Climate Ideas

http://www.thesolutionsjournal.org/node/237304

BrandNiemann10192015Slide8.PNG

Slide 9 Joan Aron Comments and Suggestions 1

BrandNiemann10192015Slide9.PNG

Slide 10 Response from Anne Neale, EnviroAtlas Project Lead, US EPA, RTP, NC

http://enviroatlas.epa.gov/enviroatl...tus/index.html

BrandNiemann10192015Slide10.PNG

Slide 11 EPA EnviroAtlas 2015 Data

http://enviroatlas.epa.gov/enviroatl...oad/index.html

BrandNiemann10192015Slide11.PNG

Slide 12 EPA EnviroAtlas 2015 Disclaimer 1

BrandNiemann10192015Slide12.PNG

Slide 13 EPA EnviroAtlas 2015 Disclaimer 2

BrandNiemann10192015Slide13.PNG

Slide 14 Data Science for EPA EnviroAtlas Knowledge Base

Semantic Community

Data Science

Data Science for EPA EnviroAtlas

BrandNiemann10192015Slide14.PNG

Slide 15 EnviroAtlas 2015 GDB-to-SHP Files: National

BrandNiemann10192015Slide15.PNG

Slide 16 EnviroAtlas 2015 GDB-to-SHP Files: Portland

BrandNiemann10192015Slide16.PNG

Slide 17 EnviroAtlas 2015 GDB-to-SHP Files: Portland - Spotfire

Web Player

BrandNiemann10192015Slide17.PNG

Slide 18 Joan Aron Comments and Suggestions 2

BrandNiemann10192015Slide18.PNG

Slide 20 Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Viewer: Map Layers

http://gispub2.epa.gov/npdat/

BrandNiemann10192015Slide20.PNG

Slide 21 Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Viewer: Data Download

http://gispub2.epa.gov/npdat/

BrandNiemann10192015Slide21.PNG

Slide 23 EPA N & P Data Ecosystem Spreadsheet

EPANutrientIndicatorsDataSet.xlsx

BrandNiemann10192015Slide23.PNG

Slide 24 Ohio Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program

http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dsw/tmdl/index.aspx

BrandNiemann10192015Slide24.PNG

Slide 25 The Ohio Maumee River Watershed

http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dsw/tmdl/...615-monitoring

BrandNiemann10192015Slide25.PNG

Slide 26 Ohio Watershed Data Ecosystem Spreadsheet

EPANutrientIndicatorsDataSet.xlsx

BrandNiemann10192015Slide26.PNG

Slide 27 EPA N & P Data Ecosystem - Spotfire

Web Player

BrandNiemann10192015Slide27.PNG

Spotfire Dashboard

For Internet Explorer Users and Those Wanting Full Screen Display Use: Web Player Get Spotfire for iPad App

Error: Embedded data could not be displayed. Use Google Chrome

Slides

Slides

Slide 1 Data Science for the Map of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects for the NDSO Challenge

Semantic Community

Data Science

Data Science for EPA Nutrient Data

BrandNiemann10132015Slide1.PNG

Slide 2 Introduction and Recommendations

BrandNiemann10132015Slide2.PNG

Slide 3 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit

https://crowdsourcing-toolkit.sites.usa.gov/

BrandNiemann10132015Slide3.PNG

Slide 4 Map of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects

https://crowdsourcing-toolkit.sites.usa.gov/

BrandNiemann10132015Slide4.PNG

Slide 5 Commons Lab Map of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects

https://ccsinventory.wilsoncenter.org/

BrandNiemann10132015Slide5.PNG

Slide 6 Commons Lab Database of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects: Alaska Volcano Observatory Citizen Network Ash Collection and Observation Program

https://ccsinventory.wilsoncenter.org/#projectId/101

BrandNiemann10132015Slide6.PNG

Slide 7 Commons Lab: Submit a New Project

https://ccsinventory.wilsoncenter.org/add.html

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Slide 8 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects:Speadsheet

CCSInventory.xlsx

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Slide 9 Spotfire Imports Boundary Files and Geocodes Data

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Slide 10 Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects: Spotfire

Web Player

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Slide 12 Database of Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Projects

http://wilsoncommonslab.org/inventory/

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Slide 13 Goal: International network of citizen science data

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/ppsr-core-metadata-standards See Story

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Spotfire Dashboard

For Internet Explorer Users and Those Wanting Full Screen Display Use: Web Player Get Spotfire for iPad App

Error: Embedded data could not be displayed. Use Google Chrome

Research Notes

Title: USGSEnvironmentalHealthHackathon

Web Player location: Web Player

Date: 10/18/2015

Author: bniemann

Data Story:
USGS Environmental Health, Octrober 18, 2015, Hackathon

https://usgs-emeh.hackpad.com/USGS-E...th-4GL5K8lIjIU 

Visualizing Toxic Contamination After Hurricane Sandy
Develop interactive visualization stories of toxic contamination sources after Hurricane Sandy.

Dataset: http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/0905/support...05-tables.xlsx 

PDF Tables: http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/0905/support...tables-all.zip 

Data Science Process:

Downloaded Dataset: ds905-tables.xlsx and reformatted colunm headers for table2 and called in table2 SF

Unzipped PDF files and comverted ds905-tables-02 to Excel. Got the same result as table2 above

Imported table2 SF into Spotfire and visualized it with a table and bar chart.

All the rest of the dataset tables 36 could be done by the same process.

Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool

Source: http://www2.epa.gov/nutrient-policy-...ta-access-tool

Note: See My Data Catalog From Web Page Below and Copy and Paste of Excel Tables to Master Spreadsheet Data Ecosystem

Quick Links

Data Access Tool - -
Launch the geospatial viewer and download data.

Fact Sheet

Tutorial - - 
First time users are encouraged to review this brief tutorial to become familiar with the functions of the Data Access Tool. 

Archived version of Nov. 30, 2011 Webinar "Tools for Developing State Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Reduction Strategies”

Do you want periodic updates regarding the Data Access Tool? If yes, please contact npdat-hq@epa.gov (to receive update emails on new data added to the Data Access Tool) or visit Recent Additions: Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool

Data Access Tool to Help States Develop Strategies to Address Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution

As described in EPA's March 16, 2011 memorandum, "Working Effectively in Partnership with States to Address Phosphorus and Nitrogen Pollution through Use of a Framework for State Nutrient Reductions," EPA will work collaboratively with interested and willing states, other partners, and stakeholders to help states develop effective statewide strategies for reducing loadings of nitrogen and phosphorus while they continue developing numeric criteria for these pollutants.

The first elements in EPA's recommended framework are to: 1) prioritize watersheds on a statewide basis for nitrogen and phosphorus loading reductions and 2) set watershed load reduction goals based upon best available information. To support states, other partners, and stakeholders in this important work, EPA has developed this data access tool, providing downloadable data layers and key information on the following:

  • the extent and magnitude of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in our Nation's waters;
  • water quality problems or potential problems related to this pollution; and
  • potential sources of these pollutants.

Where available, the data layers in this data access tool are national in scope. In some cases, data sets are available only in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (e.g., US Geological Survey (USGS) estimated loadings of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution) or for a smaller area or region.

This data access tool and data layers represent the best information currently available, and by making these data layers viewable and downloadable through this data access tool, EPA does not draw any conclusions or make any recommendations or determinations as to sources of nitrogen or phosphorus to our Nation's waters.

Data Access Tool

This tool provides a geospatial viewer and data downloads.

Tutorial

First time users are encouraged to review this brief tutorial to become familiar with the functions of the Data Access Tool.  This tutorial follows the recommended elements of the above March 16, 2011 memorandum to walk through a case study in using the Data Access Tool, and provides narrative text as well as screenshots. The tutorial is divided into two parts: "Part One: How to Use the Data Access Tool" and "Part Two: How to Download Data."

Based on elements of EPA's recommended framework, the data layers available here for viewing and download include the following:

Nitrogen and Phosphorus Loadings

  • SPARROW Total Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) Yields:
    • Major River Basins
      • N Incremental 2002
      • P Incremental 2002
  • Mississippi Basin
    • N Incremental 1992
    • N Delivered Incremental 1992
    • P Incremental 1992
    • P Delivered Incremental 1992

Water Quality Data and Information

  • Water Quality Monitoring Sites with Nitrogen/Phosphorus (N/P) (STORage and RETrieval database or STORET)
  • Water Quality Monitoring Sites with N/P (National Water Information System or NWIS)
  • National Aquatic Resource Survey (NARS) N/P Values

Setting Watershed Load Reduction Goals/Source Control Priorities

  • Newly Updated! Facilities Likely to Discharge N/P to Water
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Summary
  • National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD)
  • Waters Listed for N/P Impairments
  • Waters with N/P Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
  • Newly Updated! Drinking Water Sources
  • Coming Soon! Active, Nutrient-Related Clean Water Act Section 319 Projects

State, Tribal, and Hydrologic Boundaries

Other data layers on this data access tool include:

  • States
  • American Indian Tribal Lands
  • 8-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC8) Watershed
  • Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB)

Loadings

SPARROW (short for SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes)

This GIS-based watershed model integrates statistical and mechanistic modeling approaches to simulate long-term mean annual stream nutrient loads as a function of a wide range of known sources and climatic (precipitation, temperature), landscape (e.g., soils, geology), and aquatic factors affecting nutrient fate and transport.

How to use these data — Generated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the six geospatial layers discussed here (and provided for viewing and download in the Data Access Tool) can be used to prioritize watersheds for targeting nutrient reduction activities (such as stream monitoring) to the areas that account for a substantial portion of nutrient loads, and to develop state nitrogen and phosphorus pollution reduction strategies.  This information is relevant to the protection of downstream coastal waters, such as the Gulf of Mexico, and to local receiving streams and reservoirs.

Specific layers include:

Major River Basin Models

USGS recently completed syntheses of the results from 12 independently calibrated regional-scale SPARROW models that describe water quality conditions throughout Major River Basins of the conterminous U.S. based on nitrogen and phosphorus sources from 2002. Two data layers - one for nitrogen and one for phosphorus - provide an approximate yet regionally consistent synthesis of the locations of the largest contributing sources. Covering most of the conterminous U.S., these two syntheses have been incorporated into the Data Access Tool to view and download incremental yields for Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphorus. Of note, watershed boundaries used include NHDPlus Exit catchments for the Northeast, and Reach File 1 (RF1)- derived catchments for the remainder of the major drainage basins. Users are encouraged to learn more about these SPARROW nutrient loading models with Regional SPARROW Model Assessment of Streams and Rivers and Regional Assessments of the Nation's Water Quality Improved Understanding of Stream Nutrient Sources through Enhanced Modeling Capabilities.

  • SPARROW Total Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) Yields:
    • Major River Basins
      • N Incremental 2002
      • P Incremental 2002
    • Mississippi Basin
      • N Incremental 1992
      • N Delivered Incremental 1992
      • P Incremental 1992
      • P Delivered Incremental 1992
Mississippi Basin Models
  • An older version of the SPARROW results (based on nitrogen and phosphorus loads from 1992) is provided by 8-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) for the Mississippi River Basin. To learn more about these Mississippi Basin SPARROW nutrient loading models, see Incorporating Uncertainty into the Ranking of SPARROW Model Nutrient Yields from the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin Watershed and Differences in Phosphorus and Nitrogen Delivery to the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River Basin.

    Explanation of “incremental yield” versus “delivered incremental yield”:

    Explanation of “load” versus “yield”:

    • Incremental yield is that part of the load per unit area generated within a watershed (measured at the pore point of the watershed).
    • Delivered incremental yield is that part of the yield generated within a watershed and delivered to a specified location after factoring in the loss of nutrients in transport to that location (in this case, delivery to the Gulf of Mexico).
    • The load (sometimes referred to as the flux) of a river-borne constituent such as nitrate is the amount (or mass) that passes a given point on the river over a given period.
    • The yield of a river-borne constituent is the load per unit drainage area.
    • Nutrient load and yield are calculated as follows:
      • Nutrient load = streamflow (discharge) x nutrient concentration in streamwater
      • Nutrient yield = nutrient load ÷ watershed area

Water Quality Data and Information

Water Quality Monitoring Data

These data represent the most comprehensive set of water quality information on nitrogen and phosphorus pollution available nationally.

  • Water Quality Monitoring Sites with Nitrogen/Phosphorus (N/P) (STORage and RETrieval database or STORET) — EPA's STORET Data Warehouse is a repository that compiles and provides public access to water quality monitoring data. These data include water chemistry data, biological, and physical habitat data. The STORET Data Warehouse is used by state environmental agencies, EPA and other federal agencies, universities, private citizens, and many others for analysis. These organizations, including states, tribes, watershed groups, other federal agencies, volunteer groups and universities, submit data to the STORET Warehouse in order to make their data publicly accessible.
  • Water Quality Monitoring Sites with N/P (National Water Information System or NWIS) — The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Water Information System (NWIS) is a comprehensive and distributed application that supports the acquisition, processing, and long-term storage of water data. NWISWeb serves as the publicly available portal to a geographically seamless set of much of the water data maintained within NWIS.

    The USGS collects and analyzes chemical, physical, and biological properties of water, sediment and tissue samples from across the Nation. The NWISWeb discrete sample data base is a compilation of over 4.4 million historical water quality analyses in the USGS district data bases through September 2005. The discrete sample data is a large and complex set of data that has been collected by a variety of projects ranging from national programs to studies in small watersheds. Users should review the help notes and particularly the data retrieval precautions before beginning any retrieval or analysis of data from this data set. Additions of more current data, modifications to ancillary information, and enhanced retrieval options to help users find and appropriately use the data they need are planned for a future release of NWISWeb.

    At selected surface-water and groundwater sites, the USGS maintains instruments that continuously record physical and chemical characteristics of the water including pH, specific conductance, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and percent dissolved-oxygen saturation. Supporting data such as air temperature and barometric pressure are also available at some sites. At sites where this information is transmitted automatically, data are available from the real-time data system. Once a complete day of readings are received from a site, daily summary data are generated and made available online. Annually, the USGS finalizes and publishes the daily data in a series of water-data reports.

    How to use these data — The water quality data stored in this database presents a snapshot in time so it is important to consider the "period of record" for data captured from any location. The data are of documented quality, meaning that a certain level of metadata, including where, how, why, when and what was monitored must be included with all data submissions. Each sampling result is accompanied by information on where the sample was taken (latitude, longitude, state, county, HUC and a brief site identification), when the sample was gathered, the medium sampled (e.g., water, sediment, fish tissue), the name of the organization that sponsored the monitoring, why the data were gathered, sampling and analytical methods used, the laboratory used to analyze the samples, the quality control checks used when sampling, handling the samples, and analyzing the data, and the personnel responsible for the data.

National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) N/P values

These values, derived from EPA's NARS provide nitrogen and phosphorus pollutant levels statistically associated with degraded biological condition and may indicate the potential for biological community impacts at or near a monitoring site.

For more information, please consult the National Wadeable Streams Assessment Report and the National Lakes Assessment: Technical Appendix Report.

How to use these data — The national survey (NARS) findings for nutrients in streams and lakes highlight that nutrient pollution is widespread across the United States and impacts biological communities. The NARS analysis examined the range of values for nutrients in least-disturbed sites in a region and used this distribution for nitrogen and phosphorus to separate sites into those having high, medium, or low concentrations of nutrients. Sites identified as "high" were worse (i.e., had higher nutrient concentrations) than 95% of the sites used to define least-disturbed condition. Similarly, the 75th percentile of the least-disturbed distribution was used to distinguish between sites in medium and low condition. This means that sites reported as being as "low" were as good as or better than 75% of the sites used to define least-disturbed condition. A relative risk analysis of the data from this survey found that nationally streams and lakes have more than two times greater risk of having degraded biological communities when nutrient concentrations are high than when they are low. Resource managers may wish to use the NARS N/P values as one line of evidence to gauge the risk to biological integrity in their waters by comparing them to the ambient water quality data for streams and lakes. This evaluation may help prioritize areas for restoration and protection. However, the high values (95th percentile of least disturbed site) only provide information regarding a concentration above which the biological community is twice as more likely to be degraded. These values may not necessarily represent a protective concentration and do not provide information to help gauge the risk of nutrient pollution to the biological integrity of downstream waters. Where a state has adopted numeric nutrient criteria for a waterbody or class of waterbodies, those values would provide a more authoritative comparison value to prioritize areas for restoration and protection.

Setting Watershed Load Reduction Goals/Source Control Priorities

Newly Updated! Facilities Likely to Discharge N/P to Water

This dataset provides information on nitrogen and phosphorus discharge from facility monitoring reports (2014) and corresponding nitrogen and phosphorus limits from EPA's Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool. Records are provided only for industrial and treatment facilities with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits that, based on their operation, may be discharging nitrogen and phosphorus.

How to use these data — Consider the information in each permit:  how much nitrogen and/or phosphorus pollution is being discharged?  Do loads need to be reduced at this facility to meet load reduction targets?  Where this information is not part of the information on the permit, look towards other data sources that can fill in these blanks. Also, consider nitrate discharges and/or other discharges that may lead to algae blooms and the potential for creating disinfection byproducts in 12-digit Hydrologic Units (HUC12s) with large numbers of drinking water sources, public water systems, or with greater population(s) receiving drinking water from public water systems.

  • Point sources are only required to report nitrogen and phosphorus in their effluent if there is a limit or monitoring requirement for these pollutants in their permit.
  • States are only required to enter limits data for "major" facilities (e.g., sewage treatment plants that discharge one million gallons of wastewater per day or more) into the Permit Compliance System (PCS) and Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS)-NPDES. Information for "minor" facilities in these data systems is incomplete
  • EPA identified all sewage treatment plants as likely to discharge N/P, regardless of the availability of permit or DMR in PCS and ICIS-NPDES.
NPDES Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) Summary

These EPA data indicate locations of agricultural operations where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. CAFOs generally congregate animals, feed, manure and urine, dead animals, and production operations on a small land area. Feed is brought to the animals rather than the animals grazing or otherwise seeking feed in pastures, fields, or on rangeland. Animal waste and wastewater can enter waterbodies from spills or breaks of waste storage structures (due to accidents or excessive rain), and non-agricultural application of manure to crop land.

How to use these data — Each state can have a good picture of the status of developing CAFO permits and where states can focus efforts in targeted watersheds.

National Land Cover Dataset

These USGS data (2006) provide a comprehensive look at land use. This layer provides states with an estimated breakdown of the percentage of distinct forms of developed (urban), crop and pastureland (agricultural), and forest lands, and will help states focus the right practices on the land in prioritized watersheds.

How to use these data — The summaries are provided by land cover at the 8-digit HUC scale and allow states to determine the types of practices (urban, agricultural, forest, etc.) that should be explored for implementation in each of the priority watersheds. To download the full national land cover layer, see the USGS Land Cover Institute.

Newly Updated! Waters Listed for N/P Impairments

These EPA data identify water-quality limited segments (i.e., waters that will not meet water quality standards for a particular pollutant even after a technology-based permit is in place). States must develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for every water body/pollutant combination on the Clean Water Act section 303(d) list.

Section 303(d) nutrient-related impaired waters for which geospatial data are available can be displayed through the geospatial viewer. A one-time snapshot of all section 303(d) nutrient-related impaired waters, not just those for which geospatial data are available, for each state is also provided as a data download. For purposes of identifying nutrient-related impairments, EPA used the following national impairment categories: algal growth, ammonia, noxious aquatic plants, nutrients, organic enrichment/oxygen depletion.

How to use these data — The data can be used to identify the location of nutrient-related impaired waters within each state, either geospatially or by user knowledge/inquiry with state program officials regarding listed waters for which geospatial information are not available. The analysis can be used to prioritize watersheds based on the number or extent (stream miles/area) of section 303(d) listed waters based on nutrient-related causes of impairment, and/or the opportunity to leverage source assessment/identification and load reduction planning associated with the development of TMDLs for these listed waters.

Notes on usage -- If a water body is listed as impaired for multiple nutrient-related impairments, a TMDL may have been established for one (or more) of these pollutants; however, if there are still other nutrient-related impairments, the waterbody remains categorized as impaired (i.e., Category 5) overall. In the geospatial viewer, this scenario is represented by two layers on top of one another (i.e., Waters Listed for N/P Impairments and Waters with N/P Total Maximum Daily Loads); when the Waters with N/P TMDLs layer is deselected, the waterbody still shows up as listed for N/P impairment(s).

Newly Updated! Waters with N/P Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

These EPA data include nutrient-related impaired waters for which a TMDL has been developed.

Waters with TMDLs for nutrient-related impairments for which geospatial data are available can be displayed through the geospatial viewer. A one-time snapshot of all waters with TMDLs for nutrient-related impairments, not just those for which geospatial data are available, for each state is also provided as a data download. For purposes of identifying nutrient-related TMDLs, EPA used the following national impairment categories: algal growth, ammonia, noxious aquatic plants, nutrients, organic enrichment/oxygen depletion.

How to use these data — These data can be used to identify the location of nutrient-related impaired waters with TMDLs within each state. The analysis can be used to prioritize watersheds based on whether or not a TMDL exists that has quantified nutrient load reductions needed to achieve water quality standards.

Newly Updated! Drinking Water Sources

Public water system (PWS) data reported to the EPA Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) is summarized on a 12-digit HUC watershed basis in the Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool. Drinking water from both surface and ground water sources (corresponding to surface water intakes and groundwater wells) are reported as a range of values. Data summarized from SDWIS includes number of drinking water sources, as either surface water or groundwater, per 12-digit HUC watershed, and population served by PWS. Please note that PWSs may have multiple sources of drinking water and the populations served by these systems may not be located within the same 12-digit HUC watershed as the sources of drinking water. Displaying the drinking water data in summary form for each watershed maintains PWS security while still informing organizations that would like to prioritize areas for nitrogen and phosphorus reduction to protect drinking water sources.

How to use these data — Drinking water data may be used to help prioritize nitrogen and phosphorus reduction activities in watersheds by highlighting watersheds with the greatest number of drinking water sources or with greater population(s) receiving drinking water from PWSs.

In addition to considering watersheds with high density of drinking water sources, neighboring watersheds with high nitrogen and phosphorus loading may also impact downstream water quality.

In identifying priority watersheds for drinking water protection and nitrogen/phosphorus reductions, another useful set of information can come from the state and local source water protection programs for each watershed. Each state has previously performed an assessment of the potential contaminant threats to each public drinking water supply source (whether ground water or surface water), and delineated the area around each water source where protection efforts and loading reductions would have the biggest impact. State source water assessment and protection information may be available from the state source water protection program, or the local PWS. EPA’s Local Drinking Water Informationprovides more information on state source water programs. Additional source water protection partners may be found in the Source Water Collaborative Exit.

Coming Soon! Active, Nutrient-Related Clean Water Act Section 319 Projects

These EPA data provide information about the nutrient-related Clean Water Act Section 319 projects currently underway that have reported on load reductions for nutrients. Active projects do not include those that are marked as discontinued, never initiated, completed, or accepted by EPA. Nutrients include the following pollutants: algal growth/chlorophyll, ammonia, Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), dissolved oxygen (low), nitrate, nitrogen, nutrients, phosphorus, sedimentation-siltation, suspended solids, Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen, and phosphate.

This layer includes all of the active nutrient-related projects (open projects that have one or more BMPs implemented to achieve nutrient load reductions), and provides the following information:

How to use these data — Possible analyses with these data include setting a baseline for practice implementation and summarizing project outcomes and funding levels at different scales to prioritize implementation focus areas.

  • State
  • Drainage Area name
  • Project Title
  • Project Number
  • Grant Number
  • Fiscal Year Grant Awarded
  • Total §319(h) funds for the project
  • Total project budget
  • Status*
  • Type of Project
  • Contact Information (State Project Manager, Phone, Email)*

State, Tribal, and Hydrologic Boundaries

States

This layer shows state borders.

How to use these data — Locate a specific state or find the state(s) nearest to you with the state boundaries.

American Indian Tribal Lands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This layer represents locations of American Indian tribal lands in the lower 48 states. The areas include all lands associated with federally recognized tribal entities -- federally recognized reservations, off-reservation trust lands, and Census Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Areas.

How to use these data – If your focus area for implementing nitrogen and phosphorus reduction actions lies within American Indian tribal lands boundaries, use this boundary for viewing in context to other geospatial data layers in the Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool.

8-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC8) Watersheds

This layer shows 8-digit HUCs. An 8-digit HUC is a watershed at a certain scale.

How to use these data — Locate a specific watershed or find the watershed(s) nearest to you with the 8-digit HUC boundaries. You can find out more information about your 8-digit HUC(s) of interest by visiting EPA's Surf Your Watershed

Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin

This layer shows the boundary of the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB), which was created by joining the boundaries for the following regions (or 2-digit HUC(s)): Ohio, Tennessee, Upper Mississippi, Lower Mississippi, Missouri, and Arkansas-White-Red.

How to use these data — If your focus area for implementing nitrogen and phosphorus reduction actions lies within the MARB, use its boundary for viewing in context other geospatial data layers in the Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool.

For questions about the Data Access Tool and Nitrogen and Phosphorus Load Data Layers website, Contact Us (or email us at npdat-hq@epa.gov).

Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Downloads

Source: http://gispub2.epa.gov/NPDAT/DataDownloads.html

All layers are national except SPARROW results. The 2002 SPARROW results cover six of eight Major River Basins and the 1992 results cover the Mississippi basin only.

You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Note: See My Data Catalog From Web Page Below and Copy and Paste of Excel Tables to Master Spreadsheet Data Ecosystem

 

Name Attributes Geospatial General Program Website
Hydrologic Units (HUC8) - Summaries and Boundaries      None Available
SPARROW Total N/P Yields

        o 2002


        o 1992
 
2002 Attributes
Download Instructions
 
    
 
 
External Website
 
 
 
External Website
 
External Website
Water Quality Monitoring Sites with N/P (STORET) EPA Website
Water Quality Monitoring Sites with N/P (NWIS) External Website
NARS N/P Values for Streams      EPA Website
NARS N/P Values for Lakes      EPA Website
Facilities Likely to Discharge N/P to Water      EPA Website
NPDES - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Summary None Available EPA Website
National Land Cover Dataset External Website External Website

External Website
External Website External Website
Waters Listed for N/P Impairments      EPA Website
Waters with N/P TMDLs      EPA Website
Sources of Drinking Water (By HUC12)      EPA Website
State Boundaries None Available External Website External Website
Tribal Lands Boundaries None Available External Website External Website
Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin Boundary None Available None Available


To report an error found in data downloaded from this site, please notify the contact listed in the metadata for the data layer.

For questions about the Data Access Tool and Nitrogen and Phosphorus Load Data Layers Website, Contact Us (or email us at ow-owow-internet-comments@epa.gov).

EPA Nutrient Indicators Dataset

Source: http://www2.epa.gov/nutrient-policy-...cators-dataset

Note: My Data Catalog From Web Page Below and Copy and Paste of Excel Tables to Master Spreadsheet Data Ecosystem

 

Specific Indicators
DOCUMENTED NUTRIENT POLLUTION
Nutrient loads and yields
Fertilizer
Manure
DOCUMENTED IMPACTS
Hypoxia
Harmful algal toxins
Groundwater nitrate
Assessed and impaired waters
STATE ACTIONS UNDERWAY
Limiting loads
Adoption of standards
 

Introduction
Water pollution from excess nitrogen and phosphorus (nutrients) is harming the environmental and economic viability of our nation’s waters. Human activities have led to a significant increase in nitrogen and phosphorus in the biosphere, altering biological communities in aquatic ecosystems, impairing drinking water, and threatening the growth of businesses and economic sectors that rely on high-quality and sustainable sources of water such as tourism, farming, fishing, manufacturing, and transportation. Recent estimates suggest that nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in freshwaters costs the U.S. at least $2.2 billion annually, with the greatest losses attributed to diminished property values and recreational uses of water (Dodds et al. 2009).

In aquatic ecosystems, nitrogen and phosphorus act as fertilizers leading to eutrophication, or an increase in the rate of supply of organic matter/plant biomass in an ecosystem. This eutrophication includes increased noxious aquatic plant growth and harmful algal blooms which result in the production of toxins that pose a threat to human, pet, and livestock health. Harmful algal blooms in U.S. coastal waters cost an additional estimated $82 million annually, with the majority of impacts in the public health and commercial fisheries sectors (Hoagland and Scatasta 2006). Eutrophication can also lead to hypoxia, or low dissolved oxygen concentrations, leading to fish kills and decreased biodiversity. Adverse impacts from nitrogen and phosphorus pollution occur in 65% of the nation’s major estuaries (Bricker et al. 2007) and there are 166 coastal hypoxic dead zones in the U.S. (Diaz and Rosenberg 2008).

Sources of nitrogen and phosphorus include wastewater treatment plant discharges, fossil fuel combustion, synthetic fertilizer, animal agriculture manure, urban runoff, and landfill leachate. Minimizing contributions from these sources will help reduce nutrient loading to our valued aquatic ecosystems.

As part of EPA’s ongoing efforts to work collaboratively with states and other partners to accelerate nutrient load reductions and state adoption of numeric nutrient criteria, and as outlined in a March 2011 Nutrient Framework memorandum, EPA has developed the Nutrient Indicators Dataset. This Dataset consists of a set of indicators and associated state-level data to serve as a regional compendium of information pertaining to potential or documented nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, impacts of that pollution, and states’ efforts to minimize loadings and adopt numeric criteria for nutrients into state water quality standards. Information on the data source(s) used, the data collection process, and any caveats or assumptions made which should be considered when using the data, are included on each indicator’s individual web page. Other relevant information sources can be found in theReferences and links to other data sources section in each indicator’s web page. The data in the Nutrient Indicators Dataset are some of the best and most current information currently available on a nationwide basis, allowing for state-by-state differentiation, and will be valuable information for states and Regions working to develop and implement Nutrient Frameworks. Regions and states could evaluate the data to identify the greatest nitrogen and phosphorus sources and impacts, and focus resources and actions accordingly.

Note that the data are not automatically updated on this website and therefore may not represent real-time information. EPA recognizes that there are numerous additional sources of information on nutrient pollution that may be available on a local or regional basis, as well as individual state efforts to reduce nutrient loadings, which may not be reflected in this Dataset. In addition, data on nitrogen and phosphorus pollution at the watershed level is available via EPA’s Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool. Users are also encouraged to consult state websites to learn more about how states are working to minimize nutrient pollution.

References and links to other data sources
1. Dodds, W.K., Bouska, W.W., Eitzmann, J.L., Pilger, T.J., Pitts, K.L., Riley,A.J., Schloesser, J.T., and Thornbrugh, D.J. 2009.Eutrophication of U.S. freshwaters: analysis of potential economic damages. Environmental Science and Technology. Vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 12-19.

2. Diaz, R. J., R. Rosenberg. 2008. Spreading dead zones and consequences for marine ecosystems. Science. Vol. 321, pp. 926-929.

3. Bricker, S., B. Longstaff, W. Dennison, A. Jones, K. Boicourt, C. Wicks, and J. Woerner. 2007. Effects of Nutrient Enrichment in the Nation's Estuaries: A Decade of Change. NOAA Coastal Ocean Program Decision Analysis Series No. 26. National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Silver Spring, MD.

4. Hoagland, P. and Scatasta, S. The economic effects of harmful algal blooms, in Ecology of Harmful Algae, Granéli, E., Turner, J.T. (Eds.): Ecological Studies Series. Springer-Verlan, Heidelberg, 2006. Vol. 189, Chap. 30, pp. 391-402.

Ohio Watershed TMDLs

Word

Note: Accessed by Dr. Joan Aron on August 4, 2015

The Maumee River watershed is in Ohio (mainly) and Indiana.  Approved TMDLs are shown in boldface.

http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dsw/tmdl/MaumeeRiver.aspx   

The Maumee River watershed is located in northwestern Ohio.  It drains a total of 5,024 square miles in Ohio and flows through all or part of 18 counties.  Major municipalities partially or fully in the watershed include Toledo, Defiance, Findlay, Lima, Van Wert, Napoleon and Perrysburg.  The watershed is predominantly comprised of cultivated crops with some urban development, hay and pasture lands, and forest.

The Maumee River is a major tributary to the western Lake Erie basin.  Please see the Lake Erie program page for more information. 

Auglaize River (lower) – no TMDL report at this time

Auglaize River (upper) – TMDL approved by USEPA in 2004

Blanchard River – TMDL approved by USEPA in 2009

Maumee River (lower) tributaries and Lake Erie tributaries – TMDL approved by USEPA in 2012

Maumee River Main Stem – no TMDL information

Ottawa River (Lima area) – TMDL approved by USEPA in 2014

Powell Creek – TMDL approved by USEPA in 2009

St. Joseph River – TMDL in preparation

St. Marys River – no TMDL information

Swan Creek – TMDL approved by USEPA in 2010

Tiffin River – TMDL in preparation

Maumee River Basin Select Tributaries [includes South Turkeyfoot Creek, Beaver Creek, Bad Creek, Tontogany Creek and others] – no TMDL information

http://www.in.gov/idem/nps/2845.htm

St. Marys River and Maumee River in Indiana – TMDL approved by USEPA in 2006

The Great Miami River watershed is mainly in Ohio.  Ohio reports are shown.  Approved TMDLs are in boldface.

http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dsw/tmdl/GreatMiamiRiver.aspx

The Great Miami River watershed is located in southwestern Ohio.  It drains a total of 3,802 square miles and flows through all or part of 15 counties.  Major municipalities partially or fully in the watershed include Dayton, Springfield, Sidney, and Cincinnati and some its suburbs.

The eastern portion of the watershed is a mixture of urban development and agricultural land uses such as cultivated crops.  The northern portion of the watershed is predominantly comprised of cultivated crops.  The southern portion of the watershed is predominantly comprised of pasture and hay lands, with some cultivated crops and pockets of urban development and forest.

Great Miami River (upper) – TMDL approved by USEPA in 2012

Great Miami River (middle) – TMDL in preparation

Great Miami River (lower) –  TMDL in preparation

Stillwater River - TMDL approved by USEPA in 2004 and 2009 (different components)

Mad River - TMDL approved by USEPA in 2010

Twin Creek – TMDL approved by USEPA in 2010

Fourmile Creek – TMDL in preparation

Indian Creek -  No TMDL – not on Ohio list of impaired waters

Taken by Storm

Source: http://www.nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/Wate..._NWF_2013.ashx PDF and Word

FrontCover.png

How Heavy Rain is Worsening Algal Blooms in Lake Erie

With a Focus on the Maumee River in Ohio

Researched and written by

Melinda Koslow (National Wildlife Federation) &

Elizabeth Lillard (School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan) &

Valerie Benka (School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan)

We would like to acknowledge the following reviewers:

Dr. Jonathan Bulkley (University of Michigan), Dr. Don Scavia (Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, University of Michigan), Dr. Peter Richards (Heidelberg University), Dr. Michael Murray, Marc Smith, Celia Haven, Rachel Neuenfeldt, Andy Buchsbaum and

Becky Lentz (National Wildlife Federation)

April 2013

This report was made possible due to the generous support of The Joyce Foundation.

National Wildlife Federation is solely responsible for the content of this report.

The views expressed in this report are those of NWF and do not necessarily represent the views of reviewers or financial supporters.

Executive Summary

Lake Erie is a vital resource for the Great Lakes region and the nation at large, providing a home to thou- sands of wildlife species, drinking water for millions of people, and a billion-dollar fishing industry. At the same time, Lake Erie is extremely vulnerable. Since the late 1990s, Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have returned to the lake in force. Microcystis algae, which produce the toxin microcystin, have captured the attention of scientists, public health officials, and environmental advocates alike. There is widespread agreement that HABs are one of the most significant problems facing the people and wildlife of Lake Erie today.

Record-breaking rains—and droughts—are affecting the size of these toxic blooms. Why? Rain causes runoff of nonpoint source pollutants such as excess fertilizer and livestock waste, which cause an upsurge in lake nutrient levels and promote the growth of HABs. Unfortunately, the changing global climate is bringing both extreme rain- fall and significant drought to the Great Lakes region. These pendulum swings, which cause many industries to suffer, are contributing to record-breaking HABs.

As a follow-up to the National Wildlife Federation’s 2011 report Feast and Famine in the Great Lakes: How Nutrients and Invasive Species Interact to Overwhelm the Coasts and Starve Offshore Waters, this report examines this relationship between large rain events, nutrient runoff, and HAB size, focusing on the input from Maumee River in ohio.

Lake Erie’s HAB problem is multifaceted. It is influenced by changing lake ecology from aquatic invasive zebra and quagga mussels and by warming temperatures. It is also influenced by point and nonpoint sources of pollution, including agriculture, sewage, dredging, and open-lake disposal.1 These contribute to phosphorus loads, specifically dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP), which spurs HAB growth. In recent years, point sources of phosphorus are declining due to regula- tion; therefore unregulated nonpoint source pollution is emerging as the predominant source of phosphorus. Nonpoint sources provided more than 60 percent of phosphorus to Lake Erie between 1998 and 2005.2 Excess DRP from agriculture—a nonpoint source—is particu- larly conducive to HAB growth.

Figure 1. Rain Contribution to Harmful Algal Blooms

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The Lake Erie basin boasts the largest percentage of agricultural land in the Great Lakes region. Several tributaries carry phosphorus from surrounding farmland into Lake Erie. The Detroit and Sandusky Rivers are also contributors. Although all tributaries war- rant attention, the Maumee River is a surrogate example for other watersheds. The Maumee River Valley, located west of Lake Erie and spanning ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, is the largest tributary to Lake Erie by area. Though dissolved reactive phosphorus loads are increasing in all of the watersheds, observed DRP loads into Lake Erie from the Maumee River have increased 218 percent since 1995.3

Combine excessive nutrients with heavy rains, and the result is record-breaking HABs. The reason: rain causes runoff from farm- land and transports nutrients from fertilizer and animal waste into Lake Erie’s western basin. More rain storms, and particularly more heavy rain storms, carry more nutrients, particularly phosphorous, into the lake. Soluble phosphorus in the form of DRP presents an opportunity for algae to grow—and, in these cases, the algal blooms become toxic.

The following storm snapshots showcase eight seasons4of rainfall over the Maumee River Valley, consequent phosphorus loads, and HABs in Lake Erie.5 Four of these seasons experienced record-breaking rains (1998, 2003, 2008, 2011), and three experienced significant drought (1999, 2001, 2012), while one is a moderately wet season (2002). This report does not try to prove a direct 1:1:1 correlation between rainfall, phosphorus loads, and HAB size, rather it does show that rainfall is the master driver of dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) loads in these specific cases. Information in this report highlights a need to account for changes in weather and cli- mate, especially with regards to rainfall amounts, when combating the complex problem of Lake Erie’s HABs.

Figure 2. Summary of Storm Snapshot Years, Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus (DRP) Loads at Waterville, OH6 and Harmful Algal
Bloom Size

 

Year

Wet or dry season

 

Details of rain & bloom

1998

Wet

  • Second wettest June for ohio since 1883, 10 inches of rain in a single storm
  • 515 metric tons of DRP
  • By october a HAB was reported, size estimates are close to 2003s bloom

1999

Dry

  • Drought conditions over northwest ohio for spring and summer months
  • 215 metric tons of DRP
  • Federal agricultural disaster declarations for drought in Maumee River Valley counties
  • Bloom size negligible

2001

Dry

  • Precipitation statewide remained below normal for the calendar year of 2001
  • 260 metric tons of DRP
  • Bloom size negligible

2002

Moderate

  • Wet winter and spring, followed by dry summer
  • 440 metric tons of DRP
  • Bloom size 65 square miles

2003

Wet

  • Maumee regions third wettest May in over 100 years
  • 570 metric tons of DRP
  • Peak bloom covered 272 square miles

2008

Wet

  • over 1100 daily precipitation records were broken in ohio
  • 840 metric tons of DRP
  • Bloom covered 400 square miles

2011

Wet

  • 75 percent of normal annual precipitation for ohio fell in the four months between February and May
  • 560 metric tons of DRP
  • Wettest spring on record for ohio
  • 2,000 square miles of bloom in Lake Erie—3.3 times greater than the peakintensity of the 2008 bloom

2012

Dry

  • Moderate drought for part of spring and between a Severe and Extreme drought all of the summer
  • Significantly smaller loads of dissolved reactive phosphorus   reported
  • microcystin concentration stayed in the low risk category
  • Scientists are currently working on measuring and reporting the total size of bloom

 

Climate change is causing the Midwest/Great Lakes region to experience warmer air temperatures and large rainfall events—along with swings of drought. Heavy precipitation events are particularly on the rise. Since 1958, days with very heavy precipitation have increased by 31 percent.10 Additionally, the seasons are changing. Warm conditions in the late winter or early spring can cause rain on snow events,11 expanding the time period of runoff potential. Although we identify a few storm snapshots in this report, the wettest spring on record for ohio produced a memorably massive HAB in 2011.12 This is an alarming snapshot of disaster to Lake Erie if record-breaking rains and excess nutrient loads continue. Scientists recently ran climate scenario models that show larger rain events of rainfall amounts of about 1.2 inches, have the potential to be twice as frequent over western Lake Erie basin. 13

In order to prepare for heavier rain events we need to reconsider some agricultural practices and policies. More innovative policies and programs, combined with more outreach to land managers, farmers, and agricultural retailers will help ensure that heavy storms do not exacerbate Lake Erie’s existing vulnerability to phosphorus loading and HABs. Better practices will also reduce unintended expenses from fertilizer applications being washed away.

ExecutiveSummaryFigure1.png

Some principal recommendations are as follows (more details are out- lined in Conclusion and  Recommendations):

Agricultural Practices

  • Identify Best Management Practices (BMPs) that fit climate and weather trends by reducing phosphorus levels on the soil surface. Until recently, conservation tillage was thought to be a standard best management practice as it has great benefits toward preventing erosion. However, conservation tillage combined with heavy fertilizer application leaves high concentrations of phosphorus in the upper soil, making it susceptible to wash into lakes and streams with rain runoff.
    • When applying conservation tillage, ensure that fertilizer gets below the surface and is absorbed well to avoid losses through tiles.
    • A promising BMP approach that accounts for heavier rain is the use of cover crops 14, as they diminish nutrient reduction from runoff and reduce overall erosion. Cover crops also help wildlife, since they increase nesting areas for species such as ducks, and provide high quality food sources for many grassland and game bird species.15
  • Consider timing of nutrient application. Do not apply nutrient fertilizers if the weather forecast calls for a greater than 50 percent chance of heavy rain. Avoid application on frozen ground.
    • Promote the message of proper timing for fertilizer application and provide technical assistance through the local Certified Crop Advisors (CCA) and agriculture retailers.
    • Promote implementation of voluntary nutrient reduction programs, such as the 4R (Right source, Right rate, Right time, Right place) Program.
  • Develop partnerships between farmers, land managers, and Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) and respective state climatologists and/or the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessment Center (GLISA). These scientists have access to decades of historical records and the climate model expertise to give seasonal or longer-term rainfall fore- casts, useful for adjusting nutrient application   practices.
  • Replace agricultural drainage ditches with treatment wetlands wherever possible. This will also help combat erosion caused by severe storms.

Federal/State Policy

  • Coordinate the EPA and Great Lakes states to allow for nutrient Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) covering the entire western basin.16 Potential TMDLs are outlined in a recent report prepared for ohio Environmental Protection Agency for the Lower Maumee River and Lake Erie.17
  • Establish federal limits on microcystin levels in water used for drinking and swimming to better protect human and wildlife health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can follow limits already established by the World Health  organization.18
  • Fully fund federal investments in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Restored wetlands, for example, filter and reduce nutrient loads into the Great Lakes.
  • Ensure binational implementation of the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). The GLWQA’s Great Lakes Executive Committee (GLEC) should actively coordinate with subcommittees (in this case, the Nutrients and Climate Change subcommittees) to establish specific goals and identify the timeframes and programs needed to achieve these goals.
  • Support research on key nutrient sources within watersheds. This will allow for more targeted BMP placement, which will result in more effective adaptive management. Additionally, standardized, regular, and targeted moni- toring is needed to effectively protect the nearshore areas of Lake Erie.

Introduction

Lake Erie is a vital economic, ecological, and recreational resource for millions of residents and visitors alike, and it has the distinction of being the only Great Lake to unite two countries and four states. Home to some of the largest cities in the region, Lake Erie provides drinking water to approximately eleven million residents and generates power for many power plants. 19  The lake supports a $1.5 billion sport fishing industry and boasts one of the most valuable freshwater commercial fisheries in the world. 20

Figure 3. Map of Lake Erie Drainages (USGS 2000)

IntroductionFigure3.png

Yet Lake Erie’s future remains uncertain due to the proliferation of a single-celled organism: blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), which produce the microcystin toxin. When blue-green algae explode in number, the result is a harm- ful algal bloom (HAB). HABs, which are linked to levels of phosphorus in Lake Erie, are one of the most significant threats to the lake—and the people and wildlife that rely on it. HABs are particularly prominent in the lake’s warm, shallow western basin. Although they are not a new phenomenon in Lake Erie, we are now noticing a striking rela- tionship between large rain events and the size of HABs. Since the late 1990s, heavy precipitation during the early spring and summer months has almost always been followed by copious HAB activity in the late summer and early  fall. This calls for more attention to the relationships among phosphorus loading, large rain events, and HABs, particularly as the region experiences less predictable weather and more heavy storms as a result of climate change.

Phosphorus and HABs: The Basics

Algae, particularly green algae, play an essential role in ecosystem health because they form the base of the aquatic food web. These organisms are one of the most basic forms of life, requiring only light, warm temperatures, carbon dioxide, and nutrients to grow. Phosphorus typically serves as the “growth-limiting” nutrient for algal growth because it is present in low concentrations. In larger quantities, however, phosphorus can stimulate excessive growth of algae. While hundreds of beneficial species of algae live in Lake Erie, some, like blue-green algae cyanobacteria, can be hazardous. Excessive phosphorus enables their growth.

EAGLE

HABs emerged as a prominent problem in Lake Erie during the 1960s. The prior decades saw a massive population increase along Lake Erie’s shores and, with it, the growth of industries, agriculture, and settlements. These factors contributed to “cultural eutrophication”: increased phosphorus loading from human activities. Some of this pollution was from “point sources,” so named because its cause was easily identifiable. During this era, municipal treatment plants were the major source of phosphorus. Government action soon followed these then-new and toxic blooms. In 1972, the United States and Canada signed the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). This Agreement set target phosphorus load standards for the lake and committed both countries to reduce phosphorus loads, primarily through controls of point sources such as discharges from wastewater treatment plants. Additionally, both the United States and Canada passed legislation and formed new agencies dedicated to administering water quality laws, and revisions of the GLWQA even began to focus on nonpoint source loading. The results were promising: over the next decades, Lake Erie experienced

almost a 60 percent reduction in phosphorus loading. Target phosphorus concentrations were reached by the early 1990s, and the benefits were seen in terms of both algae growth and water quality.

Despite these successes, HABs reemerged in the late 1990s as the influence of nonpoint sources, especially within the Maumee River watershed, grew. Myriad factors place the Maumee River at the heart of the problem. The first is location: the Maumee River empties into the waters of Lake Erie’s western basin. The second is volume: the Maumee River is the largest tributary to Lake Erie by area, draining water from four million acres of land. The third is nutrient quantity: the Maumee River is the largest source of DRP flowing into the lake. The fourth is a new ecol- ogy: due to invasive mussels the ecological state of Lake Erie changed, giving the phosphorus loads from Maumee River increased influence in supporting HABs.21

The effect of phosphorus, particularly from agriculture, is compounded by the lack of forest cover or wetlands acting as buffers against nutrient runoff. These natural features would normally help reduce the quantity of phosphorus-rich fertilizer entering the lake. As of 2009, however, the Lake Erie watershed contained only 54,500 acres of coastal wetland, less than 5 percent of coastal wetlands pre-settlement. This combination of factors has literally proven toxic for the lake.

The Price of HABs: impacts on Wildlife

Lake Erie is a vital ecosystem that sustains many species of wildlife. The area provides rich food, cover, and nesting habitat necessary to make it a favorite for birds. Some of the species of birds that can be found are American black duck, Harlequin duck, Great Blue Heron, American bald eagle, blue-winged teal, king rail, wood thrust, geese, sandpipers, and the ohio state bird, the cardinal. Lake Erie’s freshwater fish habitat is well-suited for species like bluegill, walleye, perch, and lake sturgeon. Amphibians and reptiles include the endemic Lake Erie watersnake, Blanding’s turtle, painted turtle, and many species of frogs and toads. other wildlife species that depend on a healthy Lake Erie include white tail deer, fox, skunk, otters, and beaver.

Risk is greatest when algal blooms are thickest. (Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory/ Flickr Creative Commons September 10, 2009)

IntroductionPhoto2.png

In large concentrations, all algae carry ecological consequences to Lake Erie, regardless of whether or not they produce toxins. Their decomposition consumes oxygen, leading to hypoxia (reduced dissolved oxygen) in the lake’s bottom waters, which harms fish and other lake organisms and contributes to lake “dead zones.” If overabun- dance of “harmless” algae is bad, that of HABs is far worse because cyanobacteria may produce microcystin toxins. In Lake Erie, microcystin concentrations have reached extraordinarily high levels in recent years. The World Health organization limit on microcystin in drinking water is 1 part per billion (ppb); in swimming water, it is 20 ppb.22 Water in Maumee Bay, located in Lake Erie’s west- ern basin, reached 1,200 ppb in 2011. 23

This level of toxicity has been found to cause illness and even death in myriad species of fish, birds, and mammals. The toxins affect primarily the liver and disrupt an organism’s normal digestion processes. Certain fish species, for example, can experience physical consequences from concentrations as low as a few micrograms per liter (μg/L).24 With the HABs sizes seen in Lake Erie in recent years, fish can be killed in only a few days.25

Bird species are also negatively impacted by microcystins, with liver lesions being one significant consequence.26 Waterfowl, which spend a majority of time in the water, are at particular risk. Scientists continue to study the direct effects of microcystins on birds in Lake Erie, but research in other regions speaks to the toxins’ capacity to cause significant damage. In the Chesapeake Bay, for example, microcystin poisoning has been linked to mortality and illness of Great Blue Heron; in the Gulf of California, the California Brown Pelican; and in southeastern Florida,    the bald eagle.27

In addition to having the potential to diminish Lake Erie’s biological diversity, HABs exacerbate the region’s economic challenges. As mentioned above, the lake supports a fishing industry that brings in more than $1 billion per year, and it boasts one of the most valuable freshwater commercial fisheries in the world. Lake Erie is also glob- ally recognized as an important area for birds. Due to Lake Erie’s configuration of open water and shoreline, large numbers of varying species of birds migrate through the Maumee Bay area of Lake Erie—in the early spring, as many as one thousand raptors may pass overhead each day. This draws national and international birders in the hundreds of thousands, with more people joining every year. Indeed, in 2011, bird watching was found to contribute more than $26 million and 283 jobs to northern ohio’s economy.28 In short, Lake Erie’s wildlife is vital to both a healthy ecosystem and a strong regional economy, and HABs threaten both.

HABs, Shifting Agricultural Practices, and Large Rain Events

Lake Erie has experienced considerable annual fluctuation in phosphorus loading since the end of the 20thcentury.29 Increasing number of heavy precipitation events in past decades, combined with shortening fertilizer application windows, appears to have led to increasing soluble phosphorus, or dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) loading.30 Resulting DRP numbers have an inextricable link to the size of harmful algal blooms.

Figure 4. Years and Storms and DRPs

IntroductionFigure4.png

Between 1995 and 2011 observed DRP loads from the Maumee River have increased 218 percent.31 It’s all about timing. In the past decade, more farmers have begun applying fertilizer after the fall harvest in order to prepare for the following growing season. With no crops to absorb nutrients, the fertilizer is exposed to precipitation. Early spring and summer rains are the greatest contributor of fertilizer into the Maumee River and eventually into Lake Erie. It is there- fore  no  surprise that larger spring storm events yield greater fertilizer runoff and phosphorus loading in the lake. It is also no surprise that soon after, we see larger HABs. During the typical two-month delay between large spring and summer storms and peak algal biomass, water temperatures warm and sunlight increases, creating better conditions for algal growth. Within Lake Erie, the ideal growth environment for algae is found in the shallow western basin—which is where the Maumee River empties into the lake, and where HABs are most common.

To examine this further, this report offers storm snapshots of eight seasons beginning in 1998 that saw heavy rain events or drought-like conditions in the Maumee River Valley. A season runs from January through June of each year. March to June is a critical period for setting up algal blooms.32 Rain events in this case are considered heavy based upon meteorological standards, significant news coverage, and/or economic losses.33 years 1999, 2001, and 2012 are highlighted as contrast cases, during which the Maumee River Valley experienced drought-like conditions, and the resulting HABs were smaller by comparison to rainy years. 2002 is presented as a moderately wet “transition” year to bigger load event years.

Figure 5. Increases in the Number of Days with Very Heavy Precipitation from 1958 to 2007. (USGCRP 2009)

IntroductionFigure5.png

Since 1958, very heavy precipitation has increased 31 percent in the Midwest.34 In ohio over the last fifty years the actual number of heavy precipitation events has doubled.35 Since 1995 runoff increased 42 percent.36 Though this is the case, it also seems that wild swings of rain patterns are the “new normal,”37 since the region experiences either heavy rain or significant drought.

As the climate changes, scientists predict storm patterns are likely to change across the world. In the northern Midwest, precipitation is likely to be less frequent; however, heavy or even extreme storms will likely become more frequent and intense.38 According to the 2013 draft National Climate Assessment (NCA) Report, days with very heavy precipitation 39will increase in northwestern ohio.40 Additionally, more precipitation is predicted to fall as rain instead of snow, meaning winters and springs will become wetter and bring

higher risk of flood.41 Rain on snow events42 are especially concerning because water runs right off of frozen ground. If rain on snow is coupled with snowmelt, even more water is available for runoff. The wild swings of rain patterns between heavy and light are also expected to continue.43 Experts predict that ohio will receive less rain in the sum- mer.44 The 2013 NCA predicts the number of dry days 45 to increase in northwestern ohio.

The season during 2011 presents an alarming storm snapshot of disaster to Lake Erie if record-breaking rains and excess nutrient loads continue. Seventy-five percent of annual normal precipitation fell in the four months between February and May, presenting conditions favorable to an enormous, toxic HAB. How does the storm and bloom of 2011 compare to what we can expect? Scientists recently addressed this question by running climate sce- nario models to estimate future spring rain event intensity and frequency in the western Lake Erie basin.46 These models show that the frequency of events with rainfall amounts greater than 0.7 inches do increase in occurrence; however, larger rain events of rainfall amounts of about 1.2 inches have the potential to be twice as frequent. 47

Climate changes may also present a need to alter timing of agricultural practices in order to maintain yields. This is primarily because increased precipitation does not necessarily translate into more available moisture for agri- culture at the time when the water is needed. Timing and distribution of precipitation will be critical determinants of water availability, and may become increasingly difficult to predict. 48

A toxic Microcystis bloom washes up on the shore of Maumee Bay in western Lake Erie on August 29, 2011. (Photo: S. Bihn, Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper)

IntroductionPhoto3.png

Storm Snapshots and Agal Blooms

Storm Snap Shot 1: 1998’s Wet June, Green Lake

In June 1998 precipitation amounts for northwest ohio were 123 percent of normal.49 During this time, the Maumee River Valley experienced a severe storm that resulted in over ten inches of rain, marking the second wettest June for ohio since 1883.50 The flooding caused almost $180 million in lost and damaged property and took twelve lives.51 Twenty-three counties in ohio including ottawa and Sandusky were declared Federal  disaster areas, with more than 100 roads closed and 24,000 people without power.52 The Maumee River discharged more than 200 percent of its normal amount for June.53 Between March and June, 171 tons of dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) leached into Lake Erie, transported by the Maumee River.54 With June as a major contributor, a total of 515 metric tons passed through the Maumee River over the year.55 By october, a harmful Microcystis bloom was reported in the western basin of Lake Erie. Scientists estimate HAB size as close to the size of 2003’s bloom. 56

Figure 6. Ohio Statewide Precipitation Amounts for June 1998

StormSnapShotsFigure6.png

Maumee at Waterville 1998 USGS

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Storm Snap Shot 2: 1999’s Less Rain, Low DRP

Northwest ohio and Maumee River Valley stayed dry throughout the spring and summer months of 1999. Beginning in March, the Palmer Drought Severity Index ranking for northwest ohio was -0.9, indicating incipient drought. over the next few months it became drier and drier and by June the ranking was -3.4, indicating severe drought.57 By July 66 counties in ohio were receiving federal agricultural disaster declarations for drought, including Maumee River Valley counties such as Williams, Fulton, Henry and Lucas.58 According to NoAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) this drought caused $200 million in crop damages.59 From May through october Fulton and Lucas counties received 4-6 inches less than normal precipitation. ottawa, Wood and Henry counties received 6-8 inches less than normal precipitation.60 This year, about 215 metric tons of DRP came through the Maumee River.61 The size of the bloom was negligible. 62

Storm Snap Shot 3: 2001 Dry Spring, No Newsworthy Bloom

March 2001 was severely dry in southeast Michigan and northwest ohio.63 In northwest ohio precipitation was 28 percent of normal.64 By April, ohio was experiencing the 9thdriest year in 119 years.65 2001 did a bit better for precipitation than 1999, with some heavy rain events in May and the first half of June, but overall it was a dry year. Precipitation statewide remained below normal for the calendar year of 2001.66 By the end of the season 260 metric tons of DRP went through the Maumee River.67 The size of the bloom was negligible. 68

Storm Snap Shot 4: 2002 Swings of Wet and dry, the Bloom didn’t Lie

Warm wintertime temperatures caused precipitation in February and March to fall as both rain and snow, causing rain- on-snow events.69 Minor flooding was reported in February for northern ohio.70 Spring experienced flooding, with rainfall amounts in March, April, and May over 100 percent of normal.71 Most of the precipitation over northwestern ohio in March, however, fell as snow so the runoff conditions were less in comparison to April and May. By April, discharge for Maumee River at Waterville was 140 percent of normal and 192 percent of normal in May.72 Very dry conditions started in June, with rainfall amounts dipping to 53 percent of normal, and lasted for the rest of the summer. Discharge for Maumee River at Waterville declined to 61 percent of normal.73 The winter and spring rains were enough to flush 440 metric tons of DRP through the Maumee River.74 The resulting bloom was about 65 square miles 75

Storm Snap Shot 5: 2003 Rain Rain, Won’t go Away

In the late spring and summer of 2003 ohio was experiencing the wettest conditions in the country. In fact, northern ohio was hit with its third-wettest May in over one hundred years.76 Every week brought a new storm. Lake Erie rose more than four inches as a result of precipitation across the Upper Great Lakes, and the Maumee River discharged 359 percent of its average monthly discharge.77 Many fields in the region were damaged from the flooding, and whatever fertilizer had been applied washed into the lake. Between March and June, a total of 322 tons of DRP were deposited into the western basin.78 Several large storms also occurred in July and August. These months went on record as one of the wettest May-August periods ever experienced in ohio.79 May discharge through Maumee River at Waterville was 359 percent of normal.80 By the end of the season 570 metric tons of DRP went through the Maumee River.81 The fall of 2003 brought with it a massive algal bloom. Because large storms occurred as late as August, the bloom lasted longer than usual. In early September the bloom was mostly confined to the western basin. However, by November, the bloom had spread into the central basin of the lake. At its peak the harmful bloom covered 272 square miles.82 2003 was also the first year cameras on NASA satellites captured the above-earth view of green HABs.83 Seeing HABs from space illustrated the problem for the public in a whole new way.

Figure 7. (Top) Lake Erie September 6, 2003 (MODIS Aqua NASA Visible Earth) (Bottom) Lake Erie November 20, 2003 (MODIS Aqua NASA Visible Earth)

StormSnapShotsFigure7a.png

StormSnapShotsFigure7b.png

Figure 8. National Ranks of Precipitation from April through September 2003. Ohio ranks among the wettest in the country. (NCDC NOAA 2012)

StormSnapShotsFigure8.png

Storm Snap Shot 6: 2008 Record Breaking, Lake Loading

The first half of 2008 was the second wet- test on record for ohio.84 Flooding caused extensive damage to fields and interfered with spring planting.85 In June, massive flooding occurred throughout the Midwest, and over 1100 daily precipitation records were broken throughout the region.86 over northwest ohio precipitation amounts were 151 percent of normal.87 The Maumee River Basin received approximately 8 inches of rain during the month of June alone.88 The discharge for Maumee River at Waterville in June was 199 percent of normal.89 As a result, 265 tons of DRP entered Lake Erie.90 Short heavy rain events defined the rest of the season. over the July 4th holiday, for example, a storm over northwest ohio presented 3 inches of rain.91 Precipitation amounts remained above normal statewide for the entire year.92 By the end of the season 840 metric tons of DRP went through the Maumee River.93 The consequence was a harmful algal bloom that spanned over 400 square miles. 94

Figure 9. National Ranks of Precipitation from April through September 2008. Ohio ranks among the wettest in the country. (NCDC NOAA 2012)

StormSnapShotsFigure9.png

Storm Snap Shot 7: 2011 New decade, decadal-Sized Blooms

Between 2009 and 2011, Lake Erie experienced heavy blooms every year.95 The year 2011 was particularly exceptional and is considered by scientists to be the worst bloom that Lake Erie has seen in decades.96 These years provided a perfect storm of sorts. First, fertilizer sales in 2010 were ohio’s highest in a decade, and the fall of 2010 presented relatively dry conditions which presented an ideal opportunity for fall fertilizer application and field preparation.97 Then, the spring of 2011 was the wettest ohio has ever experienced.98 Several locations received 75 percent of their normal annual pre- cipitation in the four-month span between February and May.99 In northwest ohio rainfall exceeded normal precipita- tion by 195 percent in April and by May, 232 percent of normal.100 Meteorologist Marty Thompson with the Cleveland National Weather Service Forecast office said in May, “Everybody’s talking about it because it seems like it’s raining every day.” 101

Figure 10. Lake Erie October 9, 2011 (Earth Observatory NASA)

StormSnapShotsFigure10.png

Figure 11. Wake following a small boat on Lake Erie in July 2011 (NOAA/NCCOS)

StormSnapShotsFigure11.png

The storms of 2011 were heavy. Almost continuous severe thunderstorms pelted ohio in May of 2011, resulting in significant flooding.102 According to the USGS Water-Data Report, the Maumee River discharged a high daily mean of 78,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) in May, more than 500 percent of normal flow.103 This emptied more than 400 tons of DRP into the western basin.104 This storm represents the 99.8th percentile for Maumee daily dis- charge since 1975.105 Additionally Lake Erie experienced weak circulation and current from February through July.106 This reduced mixing in the western basin, which decreased dilution of the Maumee’s nutrient-rich waters. All of this water combined with heavy nutrient application led to high DRP loads and huge blooms. By the end of the season 560 metric tons of DRP went through the Maumee River.107 The resultant bloom was massive, covering more than 3,000 square miles by early october.108 Scientists have recently concluded that all of the factors leading to the 2011 bloom will likely reappear in the future.109 Climate scenario models show that larger storm events of 1.2 inches or higher falling over western Lake Erie basin could be twice as frequent. 110

Storm Snap Shot 8: 2012 drier Year, Smaller Bloom

Compared to previous years, the year 2012 was a relief for Lake Erie’s health. Drought coupled with few large rain events yielded a mild year for HABs. According to the Palmer Drought Severity Index, the Maumee Bay watershed experienced Moderate drought for part of the spring and Severe-to- Extreme drought all summer.111 The lack of spring storms greatly reduced runoff between March and June, resulting in less phosphorus entering Lake Erie.112 A study by Heidelberg University shows that the amount of phosphorous that entered the lake during the April-through-June period was about 2.5 percent of 2011’s amount for the same period.113 However, lack of rain taxed water systems and presented major challenges for the region’s agriculture sec- tor. Scientists are currently working on estimating and reporting the total size of the bloom.

Figure 12. National Ranks of Precipitation from February through July 2012. Ohio ranks among the driest in the country. (NCDC NOAA 2012)

StormSnapShotsFigure12.png

Common egret in grassy area. (Photo by Gary Kramer / U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service)

StormSnapShotsPhoto2.png

Conclusions and Recommendations

RecommendationsFigure1.png

Climate change is causing warmer air temperatures and altering rain patterns over the Maumee River Valley in profound ways. These rain patterns, combined with other  factors,  are contributing  to nutrient  runoff and harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. Lake Erie’s water quality is compromised and thus impacts the health of the people and wild- life. Without serious action on curbing greenhouse gas pollution— as, unfortunately, is the case currently—we will continue to experience warmer air temperatures and the intense weather events that occur as a result. Therefore we should prepare for these changes to protect the health of Lake Erie’s human and wildlife populations from toxic algal blooms.

In the past, we have had considerable success in regulating point source pollution. There is potential to achieve similar levels of success with nonpoint source pollution if policies, land management practices, and research and monitoring initiatives are supported and implemented effectively. More innovative policies, updated best management practices, combined with additional outreach and understanding, will create solutions that help ensure that heavy storms do not exacerbate Lake Erie’s existing vulnerability to phosphorus loading and Harmful Algal Blooms. By working together as a public along with scientists, weather and climate forecasters, policy makers, nonprofits, federal and state agencies, farmers, businesses, and land managers, we can protect this treasured lake erie eco- system. Next are several principal recommendations, accounting for this range of sectors and stakeholders, to reduce the consequences of heavy storms on HAB growth in Lake Erie.

Recommendations

Accounting for Climate Change in Land Management

While farmers and land managers have a deep understanding of the weather, it would be helpful for them to have the tools and knowledge to better predict what may happen in the future with climate change to adequately prepare land practices for change.

  • Farmers, land managers, and Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) should develop partnerships with respective state  climatologists and/or the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessment  Center  (GLISA). 114  These scientists  have access to decades of historical records and the climate model expertise to give seasonal or longer-term rainfall forecasts, useful for  adjusting nutrient  application practices and/or making conservation wetland decisions.
  • The National Weather Service’s National Climate Prediction Center should issue a public warning for seasons with high runoff potential (i.e. heavier rain seasons).
  • United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) should prioritize, incentivize, and fund land buffer enhancements for the Maumee River watershed. This land could act as a buffer for nutrients during heavy rains.
Buffer Strips in Northwest Ohio, USDA 2001

RecommendationsFigure2.png

Nutrient Management Practices for Agriculture

Agriculture is the biggest contributor of excess phosphorus loading in Lake Erie. Consequently, efforts to decrease loading must focus on the magnitude and timing of the application of fertilizer to farmland. Considerable efforts have already been made to reduce phosphorus and sediment loads, but even further reductions are necessary given the heavier storms and greater rainfall occurring in this region. Since we cannot do anything in the short-term about large storms, our only option is to keep phosphorus runoff to a minimum.

  • Identify Best Management Practices (BMPs) that fit climate and weather trends by reducing phosphorus levels on the soil surface. Until recently conservation tillage was thought to be a standard best management practice as it has great benefits toward preventing erosion. However, heavy fertilizer application combined with conservation prac- tices leave high concentrations of phosphorus from fertilizer on the upper soil, leaving concentrations susceptible to wash into lakes and streams with rain runoff.115 Weather might matter less if the farmers reduce the practice of conservation tillage alongside heavy fertilizer application, or take extra steps to ensure that fertilizer gets below the surface to avoid losses through tiles. A promising BMP approach that accounts for heavier rain is the use of cover crops116, as they diminish nutrient reduction from runoff and reduce overall erosion by keeping soils covered.117 With no changes in agriculture practices, warmer weather and increased frequency of severe storms could increase negative impacts of existing practices.118
  • Streamline enforcement of BMPs, especially those that are effective under heavy rain scenarios. Agencies like the ohio Department of Natural Resources could lead the way.
  • Consider timing of nutrient application. Do not apply nutrient fertilizers if the weather forecast calls for a greater than 50 percent chance of heavy rain. Avoid application on frozen ground.
  • Create a mechanism for ongoing, formal public review of the efficacy of management efforts. Even though we can still expect wild swings in precipitation amounts—placing some years in drought conditions—we must continue to update our efforts on preventing large amounts of runoff, learning from on-the-ground practices and the best available science.
State Policies and Laws

Policies that protect Lake Erie must be reviewed and updated to ensure that their original intention is carried

through. State laws are important, as they are primarily responsible for regulating nonpoint source pollution.

  • The ohio Department of Natural Resources should designate the Lake Erie watershed as being “in distress.” This designation would trigger new regulations restricting manure application on frozen ground and mandating conformation to state-approved nutrient management plans.119
  • ohio must require National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to contain limits on nonpoint sources of phosphorus in order to comply with the state’s water quality standards. only a small percentage of ohio NPDES permits in the Lake Erie basin contain limits on nonpoint sources of phosphorus, and most permits do not even require monitoring.120
  • The ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should require innovative, environmentally friendly ways to combat runoff via “green infrastructure.” For example, EPA could require permeable pavement or grassed swales 121in NPDES permitting to reduce phosphorus runoff.
  • Prohibit excessive water withdrawals from sensitive rivers and streams within Lake Erie’s watershed by complying with the Great Lakes Compact. Excessive water withdrawals from tributaries could result in reduced water flows and oxygen levels, and add further stress to Lake Erie.
Federal Clean Water Act

RecommendationsFigure3.png

Enhance regulation standards under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to aggressively target phosphorus. This fed- eral legislation, enacted in 1972, is designed to regulate discharge of pollutants through a state permitting process. There are several ways in which its impact could be strengthened.

  • Regulate stormwater runoff from agricultural lands as a point source. Although certain types of stormwater are regulated as point sources (e.g., municipal, construction), most storm runoff is classified as nonpoint source pollution. In general, the CWA    has

been more successful in reducing pollution from point sources than from nonpoint sources.122

  • For further reduction of nonpoint source pollution, fully fund and implement CWA’s Section 319 programs, as these programs provide necessary assistance to states, territories and tribal nations that help enhance water quality.
  • Follow the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s recent guidance on key components of an effective state nonpoint source management program123. Posted in November 2012, this guidance reviews and updates components of nonpoint source management set in 1997.124
  • on a state specific scale, ohio should abide by the recommendations laid out by a recent report published for the ohio EPA. This report outlines potential Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)125 standards for nutrients in the Lower Maumee River and Lake Erie. 126 In the meantime, other Great Lakes states should revisit and revise existing criteria.
  • The U.S. EPA should play a more active role in coordinating Great Lakes state TMDLs for nutrients. TMDL consistency among states will advance the ultimate objectives of reducing nutrient loading. Achieving a goal of consistency depends upon coordination among the states, something that the EPA can help facilitate.
Federal Agriculture Programs

Sustain programs within the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the US Department of Agriculture that provide technical and financial assistance to landowners for conservation planning and Best Management Practice (BMP) implementation.

  • Maintain declaration of the Maumee River watershed as an area of “extreme ecological sensitivity.” 127
  • Provide more oversight of agricultural operations participating in Farm Bill programs and recommend wider buffer zones between all row crops and surface waters.
  • Promote the 4R’s of nutrient stewardship: Right fertilizer source at the Right rate, at the Right time and in the Right place. Learn more at The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Portal: http://www.ipni.net/4R
  • Prioritize and implement key recommendations of the Great Lakes Commission Phosphorus Reduction Task Force. The Task Force recently identified technical assistance as a potentially limiting factor in the implementation of conservation programs. To improve the effectiveness of these programs, NRCS should work with the Great Lakes states to ensure all areas receive sufficient technical assistance.128
  • Congress must pass a five-year Farm Bill with a strong conservation title that includes the Regional Conservation Partnership Program that could directly benefit the Great Lakes. This program would significantly enhance conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife, and other natural resources in the Great Lakes region.
    • In addition, Congress must pass a Farm Bill that re-links conservation compliance to crop insurance. Conservation compliance is a compact between farmers and taxpayers that states that in return for receiving federal subsidies, farmers should meet some basic eligibility requirements: they must refrain from farming highly erodible soils without a conservation plan or draining wetlands on their property.
Federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)

The President and Congress should fully support the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which  provides

critical funding to restore the Great Lakes ecosystem. Restoration of Maumee Bay wetlands, for example, provide a filter that can reduce the quantity of nutrients that reach Lake Erie.

  • Appropriate GLRI funds included in the President’s budget.
  • Provide grants for large-scale watershed projects capable of achieving considerable reductions in phosphorus loadings. In high-priority watersheds, it may be beneficial to support fewer but larger-scale nutrient reduction projects.129
  • Support improvement of watershed and lake models to refine target loads, and monitoring and assessment to track progress.
International Bodies and Agreements

Reduce nutrient loading by implementing Great Lakes water quality agreements and prioritizing Lake Erie on the international level, e.g. through the International Joint Commission.

  • Improve multinational coordination between the U.S., Canada, and tribal nations regarding Lake Erie’s ecosystem health. Moving in the right direction, the International Joint Commission (IJC) recently announced it has made the Lake Erie Ecosystem a priority for 2012 through 2015.130 Through the Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority, the Commission aims to develop recommendations for better monitoring systems and best management practices to handle agricultural, urban and industrial sources of nutrient pollution. 131
  • Implement the recent revision of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). The 2012 amendment addresses the phosphorus-loading problem in all five lakes and calls for updated phosphorus load targets. The revision also sets out a framework calling for adoption of new objectives and strategies, as well as an implementation plan for the next several years. Updated phosphorus targets must be calculated using the best available science. Target levels of phosphorus should be established for distinct lake regions, and scientific models should be used to calculate load reductions required to meet in-lake targets. 132
    • The GLWQA’s Great Lakes Executive Committee (GLEC) should actively coordinate with public subcommittees (in this case, the Nutrients subcommittee) to establish specific goals and identify the timeframes and programs needed to achieve these goals.
Research

Continue research on key nutrient sources within watersheds. This will allow for more targeted BMP placement, which will result in more effective management. Several academic institutions and private companies have under- taken this work in the past, but it is a constantly evolving issue requiring continued effort.

  • Improve climate modeling capabilities in the basin, considering variability in precipitation patterns due to climate change.
  • Support ongoing research on the ecological impacts of HABs in Lake Erie, specifically on  wildlife.
  • Follow the recommendations of further research from the Great Lakes Commission Phosphorus Reduction Task Force. These include:
    • A phosphorus transport model which incorporates DRP and subsurface drainages
    • A phosphorus mass-balance study for each lake and sub-basins
    • Updated soil testing methodologies in view of continuing climate change and current or shifting farming practices
    • New technologies, management practices, and methodologies to reduce phosphorus discharges from permitted facilities.
  • Establish a regulatory authority to utilize research more efficiently within Great Lakes states. This would include designating high-priority watersheds and initiating mandatory actions to reduce loadings. Wisconsin is a good model for other states, especially in terms of the phosphorus rules.133
Reduce carbon pollution

Reduce carbon pollution and restore our natural systems that absorb carbon from the atmosphere. This will help prevent future warming and thus heavy storms.

  • Use and protect the laws we have to limit carbon pollution from major air pollution sources like coal-fired power plants, oil refineries, and cars.
  • Prioritize energy policies that support a rapid transition away from fossil fuels and advance the renewable energy sources needed to build a clean energy economy.
Monitoring

Standardized, regular, and targeted monitoring is needed in the nearshore areas of Lake Erie. Nearshore areas are especially important since Microcystis blooms are harmful to humans and wildlife.

  • Support and fund the Coordinated Science and Monitoring Initiative 134—a binational initiative to help integrate and coordinate monitoring efforts.
  • EPA should require more NPDES permit holders in the Lake Erie basin to monitor for phosphorus.
  • Increase effort to integrate the results of research and monitoring into development and implementation of policy.
Public Watch and Education

The public should continue to stay updated on harmful algal blooms, especially in seasons of heavy rainfall.

RecommendationsFigure4.png

Endnotes

  1. Great Lakes Commission. (2012). Priorities for Reducing Phosphorus Loadings and Abating Algal Blooms in the Great Lakes—St. Lawrence River Basin: Opportunities and Challenges for Improving Great Lakes Aquatic Ecosystems. (Paper 36). Ann Arbor, Michigan: Great Lakes Commission. Retrieved from http://www.glc.org/ announce/12/pdf/FINAL_PTaskForceReport_Sept2012.pdf.
  2. ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force. (2010). Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force Final Report. Retrieved from       http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/35/lakeerie/ptaskforce/Task_Force_Final_Report_April_2010.pdf.
  3. Michalak, A. M., Anderson, E.J., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B.,...Zagorski, M.A. (2013). Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends  consistent  with  expected future conditions. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  4. A season in this case occurs from January to June. According to Michalak et al, March to June is the critical period for setting up algal blooms. In this case, January to March is also examined, if precipitation fell as rain, in order to include “rain-on-snow” events.
  5. A rain storm is considered heavy or large by either meteorological standards or economic losses, or both.
  6. ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force. (2010). Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force Final Report. Retrieved from       http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/35/lakeerie/ptaskforce/Task_Force_Final_Report_April_2010.pdf.
  7. The total area of Lake Erie is 9940 square miles.
  8. Michalak, A. M., Anderson, E.J., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B.,...Zagorski, M.A. (2013). Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends  consistent  with  expected future conditions. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  9. NoAA Center for Excellence for Great Lakes and Human Health. (2012). Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie—Experimental HAB Bulletin. Retrieved from http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/Centers/HABS/lake_erie_ hab/lake_erie_hab.html.
  10. U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). 2009. Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. Karl, T.R., J.M. Melillo, and T.C.  Peterson (eds.). New york,  Ny: Cambridge University    Press.
  11. A rain on snow event is when precipitation falls as rain instead of snow on a snow covered ground.
  12. Michalak, A. M., Anderson, E.J., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B.,...Zagorski, M.A. (2013). Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends  consistent  with  expected future conditions. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  13. Michalak, A. M., Anderson, E.J., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B.,...Zagorski, M.A. (2013). Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends  consistent  with  expected future conditions. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  14. Cover crops are small grains or legumes planted after the fall harvest to protect the soil and nutrients until the spring crop is planted.
  15. Stockwell, Ryan., Bitan, Eliav. (2011) Future Friendly Farming: Seven Agricultural Practices to Sustain People and the Environment. Reston, VA: National Wildlife Federation. Retrieved from: http://www.nwf.org/~/ media/PDFs/Wildlife/FutureFriendlyFarmingReport.pdf .
  16. TMDL describes a value of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive while still meeting water quality standards under the Clean Water Act.
  17. Tetra Tech, Inc. 2012. Total Maximum Daily Loads for the Maumee River (lower) Tributaries and Lake Erie Tributaries Watershed. Prepared for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 and ohio Environmental Protection  Agency.  July  5,  2012. http://www.epa.state.oh.us/Portals/35/tmdl/MLLEtribs_Final_Report.pdf
  18. The World Health organization limit on microcystin in drinking water is 1 part per billion (ppb); in swimming water, it is 20 ppb.
  19. Reutter, J.M. (2011). Past, Present, and Future Problems, Trends, and Solutions for the Most Important Lake in the World: Lake Erie. Presentation at the Agriculture Nutrients and Water Quality Workshop, Columbus ohio. Retrieved at http://www.agri.ohio.gov/topnews/waterquality/.
  20. Reutter, J.M. (2011). Past, Present, and Future Problems, Trends, and Solutions for the Most Important Lake in the World: Lake Erie. Presentation at the Agriculture Nutrients and Water Quality Workshop, Columbus ohio. Retrieved at http://www.agri.ohio.gov/topnews/waterquality/.
  21. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of  Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444.
  1. Reutter, J.M. (2012, September). State of the Science—Lake Erie. Presentation presented at the 2012 Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting, Cleveland, ohio. Retrieved at http://www.glc.org/announce/12/pdf/2012Ann- Reutter-GLCCleveland2012.pdf.
  2. Reutter, J.M. (2012, September). State of the Science—Lake Erie. Presentation presented at the 2012 Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting, Cleveland, ohio. Retrieved at http://www.glc.org/announce/12/pdf/2012Ann- Reutter-GLCCleveland2012.pdf.
  3. Butler, N., Carlisle, J.C., Linville, R., & Washburn, B. (2009). Microcystins: A Brief Overview of their toxicity and effects, with special reference to fish, wildlife, and livestock. Sacramento, CA: California Environmental Protection Agency, office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Retrieved from http://oehha.ca.gov/ecotox/ documents/Microcystin031209.pdf.
  4. Derived from a chart within: Butler, N., Carlisle, J.C., Linville, R., & Washburn, B. (2009). Microcystins: A Brief Overview of their toxicity and effects, with special reference to fish, wildlife, and livestock. Sacramento, CA: California Environmental Protection Agency, office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Retrieved from http:// oehha.ca.gov/ecotox/documents/Microcystin031209.pdf.
  5. Butler, N., Carlisle, J.C., Linville, R., & Washburn, B. (2009). Microcystins: A Brief Overview of their toxicity and effects, with special reference to fish, wildlife, and livestock. Sacramento, CA: California Environmental Protection Agency, office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Retrieved from http://oehha.ca.gov/ecotox/ documents/Microcystin031209.pdf.
  6. Butler, N., Carlisle, J.C., Linville, R., & Washburn, B. (2009). Microcystins: A Brief Overview of their toxicity and effects, with special reference to fish, wildlife, and livestock. Sacramento, CA: California Environmental Protection Agency, office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Retrieved from http://oehha.ca.gov/ecotox/ documents/Microcystin031209.pdf.
  7. Forte, M. (2012, February 21). Bird Watching along Lake Erie is Big Business, ohio Sea Grant Research  Shows. Ohio Sea Grant College Program. Retrieved from http://www.ohioseagrant.osu.edu/news/?article=407.
  8. Forte, M. (2012, February 21). Bird Watching along Lake Erie is Big Business, ohio Sea Grant Research  Shows. Ohio Sea Grant College Program. Retrieved from http://www.ohioseagrant.osu.edu/news/?article=407
  9. Daloglu, I, K., Cho, H., & Scavia, D. (2012). Evaluating Causes of Trends in Long-Term Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus Loads to Lake Erie. Environmental Science &Technology. 46, 10660-10666.
  10. Michalak, A. M., Anderson, E.J., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B.,...Zagorski, M.A. (2013). Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends  consistent  with  expected future conditions. PNAS 2013 ; published ahead of print April 1, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  11. Michalak, A. M., Anderson, E.J., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B.,...Zagorski, M.A. (2013). Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends  consistent  with  expected future conditions. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  12. Most of the storm data comes from the National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NoAA) Climatic Data Center Storms Database or ohio Department of Natural Resources Monthly Water Inventory Reports unless otherwise noted.
  13. Karl, T.R., Melillo, J.M., & Peterson, T.C. (Eds.) (2009). Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. New york,  Ny:  Cambridge  University Press.
  14. Union of Concerned Scientists. (2009). Confronting Climate Change in the U.S. Midwest: Ohio. Retrieved from http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/climate-change-ohio.pdf.
  15. Michalak, A. M., Anderson, E.J., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B.,...Zagorski, M.A. (2013). Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends  consistent  with  expected future conditions. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  16. According to the United States National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the new normals are 0.5ºF higher, set from 1981-2010 and replacing the current 1971-2000 normals. This update includes the 30-year averages of climatological variables, including average temperature and precipitation for more than 7,500 locations across the United States.
  17. US Environmental Protection Agency. (2012). Midwest Impacts & Adaptation. US Environmental Protection AgencyRetrieved  from http://epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/midwest.html.
  18. Days with very heavy precipitation are defined as top 2 percent of all rainfalls.
  19. Pryor, S.C., Scavia, D., Downer, C., Gaden, M., Iverson, L., Nordstrom, R….& Robertson, G.P. (2013). Midwest. In Draft National Climate Assessment Report (Chapter 18, pp. 617-654). Retrievedfromhttp://ncadac.globalchange. gov/.
  20. Kling, G.W., Hayhoe, K., Johnson, L.B., Magnuson, J.J., Polasky, S., Robinson, S.K….Wilson, M.L. (2003). Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region: Impacts on Our Communities and Ecosystems. Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Ecological Society of America, Washington,    D.C.
  21. Rain falling on snow in open areas produces more water available for runoff.
  1. Pryor, S.C., Scavia, D., Downer, C., Gaden, M., Iverson, L., Nordstrom, R….& Robertson, G.P. (2013). Midwest. In Draft National Climate Assessment Report (Chapter 18, pp. 617-654). Retrievedfromhttp://ncadac.globalchange. gov/.
  2. Kling, G.W., Hayhoe, K., Johnson, L.B., Magnuson, J.J., Polasky, S., Robinson, S.K…Wilson, M.L. (2003). Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region: Impacts on Our Communities and Ecosystems. Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Ecological Society of America, Washington,    D.C.
  3. Dry days are defined as days with less than one-tenth of an inch of precipitation.
  4. Michalak, A. M., Anderson, E.J., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B.,...Zagorski, M.A. (2013). Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends  consistent  with  expected future conditions. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  5. Michalak, A. M., Anderson, E.J., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B.,...Zagorski, M.A. (2013). Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends  consistent  with  expected future conditions. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  6. Walthall, C.L., J. Hatfield, P. Backlund, L. Lengnick, E. Marshall, M. Walsh, S. Adkins, M. Aillery, E.A. Ainsworth,C. Ammann, C.J. Anderson, I. Bartomeus, L.H. Baumgard, F. Booker, B. Bradley, D.M. Blumenthal, J. Bunce, K. Burkey, S.M. Dabney, J.A. Delgado, J. Dukes, A. Funk, K. Garrett, M. Glenn, D.A. Grantz, D. Goodrich, S. Hu, R.C. Izaurralde, R.A.C. Jones, S-H. Kim, A.D.B. Leaky, K. Lewers, T.L. Mader, A. McClung, J. Morgan, D.J. Muth, M. Nearing, D.M. oosterhuis, D. ort, C. Parmesan, W.T. Pettigrew, W. Polley, R. Rader, C. Rice, M. Rivington, E. Rosskopf, W.A. Salas, L.E. Sollenberger, R. Srygley, C. Stöckle, E.S. Takle, D.  Timlin, J.W. White, R. Winfree, L. Wright-Morton, L.H. Ziska. 2012. Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation. USDA Technical Bulletin 1935. Washington, DC. 186 pages.
  7. Cashell, D.H. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (1998, June). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio . Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/mwr98/ mwrjun98.pdf.
  8. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. (1999). Floods of June 28-29, 1998 in Ohio. Columbus, oH: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. (Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4192). Retrieved   from   http://oh.water.usgs.gov/reports/wrir/wrir.99-4192.pdf.
  9. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. (1999). Floods of June 28-29, 1998 in Ohio. Columbus, oH: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. (Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4192). Retrieved   from   http://oh.water.usgs.gov/reports/wrir/wrir.99-4192.pdf.
  10. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. (1999). Floods of June 28-29, 1998 in Ohio. Columbus, oH: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. (Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4192). Retrieved   from   http://oh.water.usgs.gov/reports/wrir/wrir.99-4192.pdf.
  11. Cashell, D.H. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (1998, June). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio . Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/mwr98/ mwrjun98.pdf.
  12. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444.
  13. ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force. (2010). Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force Final Report. Retrieved from       http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/35/lakeerie/ptaskforce/Task_Force_Final_Report_April_2010.pdf.
  14. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444 .
  15. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (1999, June). Monthly  Water Inventory Report for Ohio, June 1999. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/ mwr99/mwrjun99.pdf.
  16. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (1999, June). Monthly  Water Inventory Report for Ohio, June 1999. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/ mwr99/mwrjun99.pdf.
  17. ohio Emergency Management Agency. (2012). Drought. In State of Ohio Enhanced Hazard Mitigation Plan (Section 2.11). Retrieved from http://ohiosharpp.ema.state.oh.us/ohiosharpp/Documents/ohio_Enhanced_ SHMP/Sections/Section%202_Part%205_ohio%20HIRA.pdf.
  18. ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Water. (ND). Precipitation: Departure from Normal May through october 1999. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/7/waterinv/99drought/dprtn5_10. gif.
  19. ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force. (2010). Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force Final Report. Retrieved from       http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/35/lakeerie/ptaskforce/Task_Force_Final_Report_April_2010.pdf.
  1. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444.
  2. National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climate Data Center. (2001, March). State of the Climate: Drought, March 2001. Retrieved from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/drought/2001/3.
  3. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (2001, March). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio, March 2001. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/pubs/ newsltrs/mwr01/mwrmrc01.pdf.
  4. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (2001, April). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio, April 2001. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/ mwr01/mwrapr01.pdf.
  5. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (2001, September). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio, September 2001. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/ pubs/newsltrs/mwr01/mwrspt01.pdf.
  6. ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force. (2010). Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force Final Report. Retrieved from       http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/35/lakeerie/ptaskforce/Task_Force_Final_Report_April_2010.pdf.
  7. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444.
  8. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (2002, February).  Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio, September 2002. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/ pubs/newsltrs/mwr02/mwrfeb02.pdf   .
  9. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (2002, February).  Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio, February 2002. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/ pubs/newsltrs/mwr02/mwrfeb02.pdf   .
  10. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.)  (2002, March,  April, May, June, July). Monthly Water Inventory Reports for Ohio, 2002. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/ tabid/4191/default.aspx  .
  11. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (2002, April). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio, April 2002. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/ mwr02/mwrapr02.pdf  .
  12. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (2002, June). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio, June 2002. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/ mwr02/mwrjun02.pdf  .
  13. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444.
  14. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444.
  15. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water). (2003, May). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio. May 2003. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/ mwr03/mwrmay03.pdf.
  16. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water). (2003, May). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio. May 2003. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/ mwr03/mwrmay03.pdf.
  17. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444.
  18. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water). (2003, August). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio. August 2003. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/pubs/ newsltrs/mwr03/mwraug03.pdf.
  19. Cashell, D.H., & Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water). (2003, May). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio. May 2003. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/ mwr03/mwrmay03.pdf.
  20. ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force. (2010). Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force Final Report. Retrieved from       http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/35/lakeerie/ptaskforce/Task_Force_Final_Report_April_2010.pdf.
  1. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444.
  2. Schaefer, Karen. (2011, 23 June). Front&Center [Radio broadcast, “Runaway Algae Returns to Lake Erie”]. Chicago, IL: WBEZ 91.5. Retrieved from http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-06-23/runaway-algae- returns-lake-erie-88249.
  3. National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climatic Data Center. (2008, July 9). 2008 Midwestern  U.S.  FloodsRetrieved  http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/special-reports/2008-floods.html.
  4. Midwest Regional Climate Center. (2008). Midwest Weekly Highlights—June 10-16, 2008. Retrieved from http://mrcc.sws.uiuc.edu/cliwatch/0806/080616.htm.
  5. National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climatic Data Center. (2008, July 9). 2008 Midwestern  U.S.  FloodsRetrieved  http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/special-reports/2008-floods.html.
  6. Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (2008, June). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio, June 2008. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/mwr08/ mwrjun08.pdf.
  7. Midwest Regional Climate Center. (2008). Midwest Weekly Highlights—June 10-16, 2008. Retrieved from http://mrcc.sws.uiuc.edu/cliwatch/0806/080616.htm.
  8. Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (2008, June). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio, June 2008. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/mwr08/ mwrjun08.pdf.
  9. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444.
  10. Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (2008, July). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio, July 2008. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/mwr08/ mwrjul08.pdf.
  11. Kirk, S. (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.) (2008, December). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio, December 2008. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/ mwr08/mwrdec08.pdf.
  12. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444.
  13. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444.
  14. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444.
  15. Michalak, A. M., Anderson, E.J., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B.,...Zagorski, M.A. (2013). Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends  consistent  with  expected future conditions. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  16. Michalak, A. M., Anderson, E.J., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B.,...Zagorski, M.A. (2013). Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends  consistent  with  expected future conditions. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  17. Kirk, S (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water). (2011, May). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio. Retrieved from  http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/mwr2011/mwrmay2011.  pdf.
  18. Kirk, S (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water). (2011, May). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio. Retrieved from  http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/mwr2011/mwrmay2011.  pdf.
  19. Kirk, S (ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water). (2011, April, May). Monthly Water Inventory Report for Ohio. Retrieved from  http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/7/pubs/newsltrs/mwr2011/mwrmay2011.  pdf.
  20. Scott, M. (2011, May 17). Clevelands squishy spring still spitting out wet weather records. The Plain Dealer. Retrieved from   http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/05/squishy_spring_in_cleveland_oh.html.
  21. Scott, M. (2011, May 17). Clevelands squishy spring still spitting out wet weather records. The Plain Dealer. Retrieved from   http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/05/squishy_spring_in_cleveland_oh.html.
  1. United States Geological Survey. 04193500 Maumee River at Waterville Water Data Report 2011. Accessed here: http://wdr.water.usgs.gov/wy2011/pdfs/04193500.2011.pdf
  2. Stumpf, R.P., Wynne, T.T., Baker, D.B., & Fahnenstiel, G.L. (2012). Interannual Variability of Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Erie. PLoS One, 7(8). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10. 1371%2Fjournal.pone.0042444.
  3. Michalak, A. M., Anderson, E.J., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B.,...Zagorski, M.A. (2013). Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends  consistent  with  expected future conditions. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  4. Michalak, A.M., Anderson, E., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B…Zagorski, M.A. The 2011 Lake Erie harmful algal bloom: perfect storm or harbinger of future conditions? PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  5. ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force. (2010). Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force Final Report. Retrieved from       http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/35/lakeerie/ptaskforce/Task_Force_Final_Report_April_2010.pdf.
  6. Michalak, A.M., Anderson, E., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B…Zagorski, M.A. The 2011 Lake Erie harmful algal bloom: perfect storm or harbinger of future conditions? PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  7. Michalak, A.M., Anderson, E., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B…Zagorski, M.A. The 2011 Lake Erie harmful algal bloom: perfect storm or harbinger of future conditions? PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  8. Michalak, A. M., Anderson, E.J., Beletsky, D., Boland, S., Bosch, N.S., Bridgeman, T.B.,...Zagorski, M.A. (2013). Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends  consistent  with  expected future conditions. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print April 1, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1216006110.
  9. United States Drought Monitor. droughtmonitor.unl.edu
  10. Krouse, P. (2012, July 6). Dangerous algal blooms on Lake Erie may be fewer this year, scientists say. The Plain Dealer. Retrieved from http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/07/dangerous_algal_blooms_on_ lake_1.html.
  11. Krouse, P. (2012, July 6). Dangerous algal blooms on Lake Erie may be fewer this year, scientists say. The Plain Dealer. Retrieved from http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/07/dangerous_algal_blooms_on_ lake_1.html.
  12. A state climatologist collects and manages high-quality climate information and data, and is housed within a nationally recognized state climate office. For Michigan, the state climatologist is Dr. Jeffrey Andresen and for ohio, Dr. Jeffrey Rogers. For more information visit: http://www.stateclimate.org/
  13. Daloglu, I., Cho, K.H., & Scavia, D. (2012). Evaluating Causes of Trends in Long-Term Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus Loads to Lake Erie. Environmental Science & Technology, 46(19), 10660-10666.
  14. Cover crops are small grains or legumes planted after the fall harvest to protect the soil and nutrients until the spring crop is planted. Within an optimal cropping system, cover crops can increase farm profitability through increased yields, reduced fertilizer costs, and reduced weed management costs. Cover crops retain nutrients that would otherwise leave the field via runoff, leaching, or evaporation, making those nutrients available for the next crop. By keeping soils covered, cover crops significantly reduce nutrient runoff and associated water pollution.
  15. National Wildlife Federation. (2012). Roadmap to Increased Cover Crop Adoption. Retrieved from http://www. nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/Global-Warming/Policy-Solutions/Cover_Crops_Roadmap%20Report_12-12-12.pdf? dmc=1&ts=20130127T2301140781.
  16. United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service. (2013) Lake Erie Buffer Initiative—Final Report. Retrieved from: http://www.oh.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/lake_erie_buffer/final_ report/intro.html .
  17. Kilbert, K., Tisler, T., & Hohl, M.Z. (2012). Legal Tools for Reducing Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie. University of Toledo Law Review, 44(69), 69-122.
  18. Kilbert, K., Tisler, T., & Hohl, M.Z. (2012). Legal Tools for Reducing Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie. University of Toledo Law Review, 44(69), 69-122.
  19. A grassed swale is a graded and engineered landscape feature appearing as a linear, shallow, open channel with trapezoidal or parabolic shape. The swale is vegetated with flood tolerant, erosion resistant plants. The swale promotes the conveyance of storm water at a slower, controlled rate and acts as a filter medium removing pollutants and allowing stormwater infiltration.
  20. Kilbert, K., Tisler, T., & Hohl, M.Z. (2012). Legal Tools for Reducing Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie. University of Toledo Law Review, 44(69), 69-122.
  1. A pdf copy of this guidance, Section 319 Program Guidance: Key Components of an Effective State Nonpoint Source Management Program November 2012, can be found here: http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/upload/ key_components_2012.pdf
  2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2012, November). Section 319 Program Guidance: Key Components of an Effective State Nonpoint Source Management Program. Retrieved http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/ upload/key_components_2012.pdf.
  3. TMDL describes a value of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can withstand while still meeting water quality standards under the Clean Water Act. Even on the scale of a single tributary, TMDLs have the potential to be very effective.
  4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, and ohio Environmental Protection Agency (2012). Total Maximum Daily Loads for the Maumee River (lower) Tributaries and Lake Erie Tributaries Watershed. Cleveland, Ohio: Tetra Tech, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.epa.state.oh.us/Portals/35/tmdl/MLLEtribs_Final_Report. pdf.
  5. White House Council on Environmental Quality. (2010). Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan for 2012-2014.  Government Documents, Paper 1. Retrieved from  http://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/wr_misc/1.
  6. Great Lakes Commission. (2012). Priorities for Reducing Phosphorus Loadings and Abating Algal Blooms in  the Great Lakes—St. Lawrence River Basin: Opportunities and Challenges for Improving Great Lakes Aquatic Ecosystems. (Paper 36). Ann Arbor, Michigan: Great Lakes Commission. Retrieved from http://www.glc.org/ announce/12/pdf/FINAL_PTaskForceReport_Sept2012.pdf.
  7. Great Lakes Commission. (2012). Priorities for Reducing Phosphorus Loadings and Abating Algal Blooms in  the Great Lakes—St. Lawrence River Basin: Opportunities and Challenges for Improving Great Lakes Aquatic Ecosystems. (Paper 36). Ann Arbor, Michigan: Great Lakes Commission. Retrieved from http://www.glc.org/ announce/12/pdf/FINAL_PTaskForceReport_Sept2012.pdf.
  8. International Joint Commission. (2012, May 14). International Joint Commission Sets Great Lakes Priorities for 2012-2015: Expert Panels Will Focus on Lake Erie, Assessment of Progress and Scientific Capacity. Retrieved from   http://www.ijc.org/rel/news/2012/120514_e.htm.
  9. International Joint Commission. (2012, May 14). International Joint Commission Sets Great Lakes Priorities for 2012-2015: Expert Panels Will Focus on Lake Erie, Assessment of Progress and Scientific Capacity. Retrieved from   http://www.ijc.org/rel/news/2012/120514_e.htm.
  10. Hinderer, J., Murray, M., & Becker, T. (2011). Feast and Famine in the Great Lakes: How Nutrients and Invasive Species Interact to Overwhelm the Coasts and Starve Offshore Waters. Ann Arbor, Michigan: National Wildlife Federation. Retrieved from http://www.nwf.org/news-and-magazines/media-center/reports/archive/2011/feast- and-famine-in-the-great-lakes.aspx.
  11. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. (2013, January 10). Wisconsin Phosphorus Rules. Retrieved from http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/surfacewater/phosphorus.html.
  12. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2012, September 21). Limnology Program. Retrieved from http:// www.epa.gov/greatlakes/monitoring/limnology/index.html.

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Ducks in wetland. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service)

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