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In The News

Modeling Lake Erie’s 40 Percent Phosphorus Reduction Target

Results of new modeling research led in part by the Nature Conservancy and Ohio Sea Grant outline some of the steps that will be needed to reduce phosphorus entering Lake Erie by 40 percent. The findings underscore some difficulties, as well as positive effects that could be achieved for fish in streams flowing into the lake’s western basin. The Western Lake Erie Basin Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was in the making for around three to five years, says Amy Brennan, Lake Erie conservation director with the Conservancy. She detailed the project’s findings during a meeting of Great Lakes reporters hosted by Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie’s Gibraltar Island. The CEAP sought to answer a few questions.

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Air Quality Gains Improving Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary, has suffered from excessive nutrient pollution and widespread hypoxic (low-oxygen) conditions for decades. And while best management practices on land and upgrades to wastewater treatment plants have helped to turn the tide against nutrient pollution, scientists at the University of Maryland have found that gains in air quality may also be improving the bay. Investigators say that it appears that recent water quality improvements in Chesapeake Bay appear to be driven more by air quality regulations than efforts to clean up water. The find comes as a surprise, as the Clean Air Act of 1990 was meant to address human health issues and streams sensitive to acidity.

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Port Of Toledo Demo Project May Reduce Sediment Loads

The Port of Toledo, Ohio, receives more sediment each year than any other harbor in the Great Lakes. That number is somewhere around 800,000 cubic yards of sediment in the most recent year, say officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) who are working to find new ways to use the loads to benefit the people living nearby as well as Lake Erie overall. Scudder Mackey, chief of the agency’s Office of Coastal Management, discussed some of the initiatives underway to reduce sediments in the port while also helping farmers seeking healthy crop yields during a recent meeting of Great Lakes reporters hosted by Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie’s Gibraltar Island. Mackey also shared some other projects that are on the agency’s docket in the years ahead.

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