Water Quality of Ohio's Lakes: Inland and Erie Revisited Special Focus: Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).A Third Special Ohio Academy of Science Symposium on Declining Water Quality in Ohio's Lakes
Co-Sponsored by: The Ohio Fracture Flow Working Group 121st Annual Meeting of The Ohio Academy of Science Hosted by Ashland University Dwight Schar College of Education Building Lecture Hall Saturday, April 14, 2012 8:30 AM-4:00 PM
Arranged by Julie Weatherington-Rice, Ph.D.
Co-Coordinator Ohio Fracture Flow Working Group 298 W. New England Ave.
Worthington, Ohio 43085 Phone 614-436-5248 Fax 614-436-5239 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement of Need/Purpose and Background of Topic
THIS THIRD SPECIAL SYMPOSIUM presents a follow-up to the 2008 Ohio Academy of Science Special Symposium "Declining Water Quality in the Western Lake Eric Basin, Increasing Invasion of Blue-Green Algae algae (ăl`jē) [plural of Lat. alga=seaweed], a large and diverse group of primarily aquatic plantlike organisms. These organisms were previously classified as a primitive subkingdom of the plant kingdom, the thallophytes (plants that (Cyanobacteria cyanobacteria (sī'ənōbăktĭr`ēə, sī-ăn'ō–) or blue-green algae, photosynthetic bacteria that contain chlorophyll. ), and Increasing Levels of Soluble Reactive Phosphorus" and the 2010 Special Symposium "Water Quality of Ohio's Lakes: Inland and Erie". Cyanobacteria continue to plague Ohio's inland lakes and the western end of Lake Eric, as well as lakes and reservoirs across the US and Canada. Last year (2010) 20 Ohio lakes and beaches were closed for at least portions of the summer recreational season because of cyanobacteria blooms. There were 41 confirmed cases of health impacts to humans from contact with harmful algal algal
pertaining to or caused by algae.
is very rare but systemic and udder infections are recorded. See protothecosis.
the algae Prototheca trispora and P. blooms (HABs) and at least three dogs died from water contact with the toxins. Grand Lake St. Mary's was closed again to water contact for part of the summer of 2011. A $5 million effort to remove dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP (1) (Distribution and Replication Protocol) A W3C protocol for downloading only updated Web information (differential downloads). The Web site maintains an index of its files, including HTML pages, images and applications. ) in the lake is ongoing. The watersheds surrounding the lake have been designated "Distressed Watersheds" by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Many sub-national governments have a Department of Natural Resources or similarly-named organization:
see AFO/CAFO. ) oversight program. This designation brings the farms under potential regulation from 14 to approximately 300.
Members of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.
n.pr See acid, eicosapentaenoic.
n. ) Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force continue to research the transport mechanisms from agricultural and urban settings to lakes. The researchers are now better able to identify the conditions that control the transport, and changes in soil and cropping management are being identified that can successfully reduce the DRP loadings to the lakes. In addition, water management structures (agricultural tile bioreactors) have been identified that can be used to remove nutrient loading from agricultural drainage tile discharge waters. A pilot project is funded which allows five of these structures to be built in Ohio this fall. The Ohio DRP research continues to be funded from a variety of sources including US EPA Great Lakes Protection Fund, the Ohio Lake Erie Fund, USDA USDA,
n.pr See United States Department of Agriculture. , ODNR, Ohio Sea Grant, and Healing Our Waters. Much of the current and projected research efforts have been identified in the final version of the Ohio EPA's Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force report found on Ohio EPA's web site at http:// www.epa.state.oh.us/portals/35/lakcerie/ptaskforce/Task Force_Final_Report_April_2010.pdf.
THE SPRING AND SUMMER of 2011 saw the first outbreaks of cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms (HAB) beginning at Grand Lake St. Marys Grand Lake St. Marys is an artificial lake located southeast of Celina and west of St. Marys in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Ohio. The lake covers 13,500 acres (55 km²) in Auglaize and Mercer counties. Grand Lake St. , Buckeye Lake and Blue Rock State Park. These lakes are much smaller than the western basin of Lake Erie The Western Basin of Lake Erie is the shallow flat basin that comprises the western third of the lake. Even with average depths of less than 25 feet, this part of the lake contains world famous walleye fishing grounds with numerous charter fishing boats operating out of the U.S. and ostensibly os·ten·si·ble
Represented or appearing as such; ostensive: His ostensible purpose was charity, but his real goal was popularity. warmed up more quickly. In addition, their watersheds are smaller so activities amenable to releasing nutrients are more quickly reflected in the changes in water quality. The sources of nutrients to Grand Lake St. Marys have been identified as animal manure which overloads the soils and washes into the lake. In contrast, the Buckeye Lake's watershed has few animal facilities. The extra loading of DRP to the lake may be coming from changes in farming practices, including the timing and application processes of commercial fertilizer. Underscoring the complexity of this issue, watersheds of Buckeye Lake, old canal-feeder lake, and Blue Rock State Park likely will require different types of nutrient management than in Grand Lake St. Mary's, also an old canal-feeder lake.
Blooms of Microcystis did not return to the western end of Lake Erie and Maumee Bay until late July of 2011, a month later than 2010. While the blooms were significant, the wet, cool spring and early summer appears to have delayed the blooms, once again underscoring the importance of warmer temperatures as part of the triggering mechanism. In 2011, there have not been significant reports of Lyngbya wollei (and/or Plectonema wollei) in Maumee Bay or the western end of Lake Erie.
BOTH ODNR and the Ohio Department of Health have added information web links to their home pages to update the public about lake conditions at state parks and public health issues as well as the ongoing link at Ohio EPA's web page. The ODNR web link can be found at http"//wwwapp.epa.ohio.gov/dsw/hab/advisor_table. php. The Ohio Department of Health's link is at HABs is on their Beach Monitoring page at http://www.odh.ohio. gov/odhprograms/eh/bbeach/beachmon.asp. Ohio EPA's Inland Lakes program page can be found at http://www. epa.state.oh.us/dsw/inland_lakes/index.aspx. In addition, the Ohio Lake Management Society, a division of the Water
Management Association of Ohio, featured the problems of HABs in their Summer 2011 issue of their newsletter, Ohio Shorelines which can be downloaded from their web page at ftp://ftp.olm.org/pdf/Shorelines%20Summer%202011.pdf. They also co-sponsored a state-wide conference on HABs in Celina, Ohio (west end of Grand Lake St. Marys, Celina gets their drinking water drinking water
supply of water available to animals for drinking supplied via nipples, in troughs, dams, ponds and larger natural water sources; an insufficient supply leads to dehydration; it can be the source of infection, e.g. leptospirosis, salmonellosis, or of poisoning, e.g. from the lake) in March 2011 with the All Ohio Chapter of the Soil & Water Conservation Society. Four informative power point presentations from that conference are on their web site at http://www.olms.org/conference.php.
Significance of Topic to Science and Society Including the Economy and Quality of Life
FOR Marcy YEARS, the only economic cost reported in Ohio for HABs was the cost to the City of Toledo for activated carbon filtration to their raw water supply during the treatment process. The figure for the summer of 2009 was $3,000 to $4,000 per day for 90 days. There still are no reliable cost figures to the impacts to tourism along Lake Erie and at the islands or to the fishing industry in the western lake. A "dead zone" east of the islands remains. To this point, no economic cost has been assigned to that condition.
With the ongoing efforts to remediate Grand Lake St. Marys, new costs have been established. Celina continues to use activated carbon filtration to render Grand Lake St. Mary's water safe to drink. Approximately $150 million of the local economy comes from tourism associated with the lake. The local economy has been significantly impacted the last three years because of the conditions of the lake. A $5 million cleanup effort is underway to try to bind up phosphorus already in the lake with alum and/or to remove the high-phosphorus sediments from the bottom of the lake by dredging. This cost does not include any additional costs to the over 300 farms in the watersheds who now must manage their animal manures in a more environmentally responsible way.
These are not the only lakes whose supporting regions have been impacted economically. Business people at Buckeye Lake were so concerned earlier this year that they contacted their State Senator, the Honorable Tim Schaffer, Lancaster, to help determine what recourses they had to turn around their economic losses due to the lake's HAB outbreak. "[he Ohio Academy of Science arranged a conference call between the Senator and experts in the fields relating to HABs. Fortunately, the HABs dissipated in Buckeye Lake by the end of June and as of August 2011, have not returned.