Tuesday, November 12
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Agenda subject to change.
Updated 11 November 2019
★ Denotes that the lead author is a student. 💧 Indicates citizen science-friendly session.
Moderator: Eric Howe
Lake Champlain Basin Program, Grand Isle, Vermont
|10:35||The Adirondack Lake Assessment Program: Success and Challenges of a Homegrown Volunteer Monitoring Program
Elizabeth Yerger and Corey Laxson
Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute, Paul Smiths, New York
The Adirondack Lake Assessment Program (ALAP) is a highly effective volunteer monitoring program directed by the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute and Protect the Adirondacks. ALAP is a rather unique volunteer monitoring program because it is focused specially on the Adirondack Park of upstate New York, is financially supported by the volunteers, and does not receive state or federal subsidies. Established in 1998 with only nine participating lakes, the program has steadily grown to over 70 lakes in 2018. The ALAP boasts a number of logistical and scientific successes. The program has maintained low enrollment cost, developed innovative sampling equipment, and produced high quality annual reports that have been emulated by other monitoring programs. Analysis performed on the 20-year data set have illuminated the impact environmental change has had on Adirondack lakes, including decreased transparency, recovery from acid deposition, and widespread salinization by road salt. The program also experiences numerous challenges that require creative solutions, including volunteer training, quality control, and sample collection and delivery.
|10:55||Elevating Community Based Water Monitoring in Canada
Living Lakes Canada, Brisco, British Columbia, Canada
As a powerful means of achieving shared governance, sustainability objectives and climate adaptation, Community Based Water Monitoring (CBWM) is gaining momentum across Canada. To realize the full potential of this movement there is a need for strategic investment, collaboration and leadership across sectors, watersheds, and jurisdictional boundaries. This must include active integration of CBWM data into policy and decision-making. A national Roundtable discussion was convened by The Gordon Foundation, Living Lakes Canada and WWF-Canada, with the aim to support a collaborative dialogue around how the federal government can meaningfully and effectively engage with and support CBWM in Canada, with the key objective to identify actionable steps the federal government can take to show leadership and support in advancing community-based monitoring of freshwater ecosystems in Canada.This discussion paper provides a brief overview of key areas where opportunities exist for the federal government to support CBWM. Recommendations included were based on the input of roundtable participants. The discussion paper and final recommendations have been divided into the following key thematic areas of focus: 1) Capacity building, 2) Effective monitoring, 3) Regional and national collaboration, 4) Data management, 5) Data to inform decision making, and 6) Sustainable funding and national case studies include the building of regional open source data hubs and monitoring collaboratives and the testing and applying a national water monitoring protocol to assess stream health via benthic invertebrates using new eDNA sequencing.
|11:15||Filling the Gaps: Empowering Communities to Monitor, Assess and Understand the Health of New Zealand Lakes
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand
Water is at the heart of our culture and identity as Aotearoa-New Zealanders. Our lake ecosystems are core national assets providing significant cultural, economic, social and environmental benefits. For Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand), the deep kinship between people and the natural world creates an obligation to care for the environment and maintain it for future generations.Despite the importance of lakes, many of our lake ecosystems are now degraded, reducing their inherent values and the services they provide to society. When we take a step back and look at the availability of data for our lakes, we see is an incomplete patch work of information. Currently we have good information for around 300 of our more than 3,800 lakes, greater than 1 hectare in size.To help fill these gaps and address a diversity of community concerns relating to lake health, a community-based monitoring platform has been developed incorporating traditional monitoring techniques where available. Modules provide guidance on monitoring basic water quality, physical characteristics, invertebrates (including culturally significant freshwater mussels (kākahi) and crayfish (koura)), periphyton, fish, aquatic plants, nutrients and aspects of human health. Further development is currently underway focusing on the mobilisation of lake communities to undertake the monitoring, data collection, interpretation and on-going management.These modules were developed to help inspire a new vision of how we can work together to pool our knowledge and better understand and protect the health of our lakes.
|11:35||★ Validating Citizen Monitoring
Kat Kavanagh1,2 and Wietske Medema2
1Water Rangers, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; 2McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
How can we inspire more people to test waterways?Machine learning has been leveraged to support citizen science in other sectors, for example, to track birds and plants, improving both identification and interpretation. However, water quality monitoring still encounters barriers to participation: current protocols limit volunteers because of administration costs and testing uses expensive equipment or labs. This research shows how machine learning, user experience design and academic research can validate and expand meaningful water testing for citizen scientists.Many inexpensive water tests are analyzed through colour comparison, but eyes interpret hues differently. Color-sensing technology is often inaccurate because lighting affects sampling. We first compared readings from inexpensive water testing equipment to results from professional equipment. We then compared results ‘read’ by citizen’s eyes with results read by a machine learning model. Through this, we determine if machine learning can make water testing affordable, accurate and meaningful to empower more citizens to participate in conservation efforts.In addition, we want to know: does understanding and participating in water quality sampling lead to increased connection to nature and water conservation? Preliminary research said yes; and these results share initial data for a study conducted in collaboration with Carleton University’s Happiness Lab, which aims to study nature-connectedness and water stewardship behaviours.
Moderator: Sara Peel
Arion Consultants, Indianapolis, Indiana
|10:35||Case Studies in Ecological Design: Successes and Challenges Designing Ecological Solutions for Sustainable Lakeshore Living in Vermont
Annie S. White
Nectar Landscape Design Studio, Stowe, Vermont
With the recent implementation and success of the Vermont Lake Wise program, a paradigm shift is occurring in the landscape design profession. When working with clients on lakeshore properties, landscape architects and designers are increasingly challenged to move away from traditional landscape design and maintenance practices and towards ecological approaches that are proven to help protect the lake. Many lakeshore property owners are motivated to earn a Lake Wise award by representing a “model” shoreland property that employs shoreland Best Management Practices and is maintained to care for the lake. This case study explores the successes and challenges of working with 18 unique clients in Vermont to design ecological master plans for their lakeshore properties. The ecological master plans develop innovative design solutions that stabilize eroding shorelines with bioengineering techniques, manage stormwater runoff, establish vegetated lakeshore buffers, increase the density of native vegetation, and improve aquatic and terrestrial habitat. Furthermore, this case study explores the unique social challenges of working with landowners to develop creative design solutions that balance the recreational and aesthetic desires of the clients with the best strategies for enhancing the water quality and the health of the surrounding ecosystem.
|10:55||Bioengineering for Natural Shoreline Restoration
GEI Consultants, Allendale, Michigan
The practice of bioengineering incorporates the use of natural materials, manufactured products, and native plants to stabilize eroding shorelines while creating wildlife habitat. Numerous techniques are available and can be applied in different ways according to site conditions and the project goals. This presentation will discuss different bioengineering practices to restore lake shorelines, including site assessment, design, and construction.
|11:15||Bioengineering in Vermont
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Lakes and Ponds Program, Montpelier, Vermont
During the last five years, Vermont has followed the lead of other states in restoring shorelands and managing upland stormwater runoff with living shoreland solutions. As a result, several bioengineering methods have been installed along Vermont lakeshores, taught by Michigan experts and reinforced by the Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Program. This presentation will review the Vermont nature-based shoreland stabilization projects, starting with four different designs and installation methods and concluding with assessments and recommendations for each of the projects. Materials, including native plant selections will also be incorporated into the project reviews. These are the first and only bioengineering projects along Vermont shorelands and teaching others about these restorative softscape methods helps build confidence for engineers, contractors and shoreland owners to practice nature-based solutions for water quality, wildlife and property protection.
|11:35||Better Lake Than Never: 13 Years of NPS Success Stories in Lake Restoration
Cyd Curtis1 and Ellie Flaherty2
1US Environmental Protection Agency Nonpoint Source Program, Washington, District of Columbia; 2ORISE / US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, District of Columbia
Nonpoint source pollution success stories highlight water bodies identified by states as being primarily nonpoint source-impaired and having achieved documented water quality improvements. These stories are a short summary of the innovative approaches behind each water quality improvement. There are over 80 success stories that include water quality improvements in lakes. This presentation will discuss findings from analyses of the many parameters collected as a part of each success story. This will include an evaluation of pollutants, timeframes from listing to delisting, suites of management/restoration practices on the land and in-lake, as well partners and funding.
Moderator: Sara Steiner
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Concord, New Hampshire
|10:35||Outdated and Incomplete; How Can We Get Community Support and Funding to Update a Watershed Management Plan?
Eastman Community Association, Eastman, New Hampshire
Eastman Community Association in Grantham, New Hampshire was founded in 1971 and the Eastman Community Lakes and Streams Committee has monitored water quality since 1987. Eastman’s watershed is mainly forested with 1,450 residences built on 3,600 acres around the 1-mile by 2-mile lake. Eastman contains 13 miles of paved and 42 miles of unpaved roads that the community plows and salts each winter and is also bordered by Interstate 89 and a busy local road.
Eastman developed a Watershed Management Plan (WMP) in 2009. The community then implemented plan recommendations to manage stormwater runoff, reduce nutrient loading, increase sampling to identify chloride/conductivity hot spots, and reduce chloride loading. Efforts resulted in the pond’s trophic classification improving from eutrophic in 1987 to mesotrophic in 1999 during which time there were measurable improvements to water quality.
Recent changes in watershed characteristics and water quality have indicated the need to re-evaluate the WMP. More frequent and severe storms are moving sediment into the lake despite the community-wide adopted BMPs, and chloride levels are rising at an alarming rate. Educating the community and persuading the Board of Directors and the CFO of the Eastman Community Association to budget for the cost of updating the WMP has been a challenge. After three years, public meetings, lobbying, and fund-raising, work to update the WMP will begin in 2019.
|10:55||Harnessing Local Expertise to Develop a Watershed Management Plan on a Small Budget
Joan Gorga, Peter Beblowski, Diane Chauncey, Melissa Lombard, Helen Perivier, Ben Pratt, Cathy Spedden, and David Ward
Gregg Lake Watershed Management Plan Committee, Antrim, New Hampshire
Gregg Lake, Antrim, New Hampshire, hosts a popular public beach, boat launch and clusters of mostly seasonal homes scattered along its shores. The Gregg Lake Association is open to all who have an interest in the lake’s future, but dues are low and money is scarce. In 2016, concerns about unprecedented algal blooms led to stepping up water quality monitoring and proposing development of a watershed management plan (WMP).
Those who volunteered to join the effort represented many levels of local government, as well as lake homeowners, with varied levels of expertise. We realized the more we did ourselves, the better we’d understand how to protect our lake for the long term. We restricted grant funds requested for WMP development to areas where professional guidance was needed; our volunteer efforts would be a more-than-sufficient match and no money was required from the town or lake association.
To develop support and gather input, we used every opportunity to speak or write about the project. We included critical stakeholders, such as the town Road Agent, from the beginning. We visited homes to survey septic systems and listened to comments and suggestions. We analyzed our own data and presented it to the public. Our upcoming challenge is to balance strong desires to act immediately with composing a manageable long-term plan to protect Gregg Lake’s water quality.
|11:15||Messer Pond’s Watershed Management Plan: From Start to Finish – Lessons Learned
Messer Pond Protective Association, New London, New Hampshire
Watershed planning is a long-term effort requiring a group’s commitment to get the job done. What does it take for a small lake community to succeed at developing and implementing a watershed management plan? What challenges do they face and how do they harness and retain the support of local and state groups to work towards a common goal?
Messer Pond in New London, New Hampshire has monitored water quality since 1996. Trends indicated a significant decline in water clarity, with nutrient and chlorophyll levels fluctuating above acceptable thresholds for mesotrophic lakes. In 2012, water quality assessments shifted from full support to non-support in the category of Aquatic Life Use for parameters phosphorus, chlorophyll a and pH. Messer Pond was officially listed as impaired in the 2012 305(b)/303(d) report. In response, the Messer Pond Protective Association (MPPA) initiated the watershed management planning process in 2013.
A small volunteer association, the MPPA has been involved every step of the way, from hiring a consultant, conducting advanced sampling, developing education and outreach programs, applying for grants, and raising funds. The MPPA continues to work with local and state organizations to spearhead and implement plan recommendations and share valuable experience and lessons learned with similar small organizations thinking of tackling the development of a watershed management plan.
|11:35||A Multi-Criteria Analysis Tool to Guide Rehabilitation of Chautauqua Lake, New York
Elizabeth Moran1, Erin Brickley2, James Rhea3, Michael Werth3, and Elizabeth Myers1
1EcoLogic LLC, Cazenovia, New York; 2Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance, Jamestown New York; 3Anchor QEA LLC, Syracuse New York
The Chautauqua Lake & Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) is a hub for multi-pronged efforts to rehabilitate Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York. This large, shallow, and eutrophic lake exhibits abundant macrophyte growth, seasonal anoxia, and a relatively low nitrogen to phosphorus ratio. Warming waters and proliferation of invasive species including dreissenid mussels have led to nuisance cyanobacterial blooms. The blooms threaten the lake’s designated uses for contact recreation, aquatic life protection, and potable water supply. Chautauqua Lake has been well studied, including completion of a Watershed Management Plan, Phosphorus TMDL, Macrophyte Management Strategy, Dredging Feasibility Study, and HABs Action Plan. The challenge for the Alliance is to determine how to allocate finite local resources among the multitude of recommendations in these documents. The stakeholder community is highly engaged and holds different views of priorities, particularly regarding aquatic plant management. The Alliance recognized the need for an objective and transparent approach for setting priorities and allocating resources. To meet this need, our team developed a structured decision-making process and template (i.e., an implementation strategy). The strategy included a multi-criteria analysis (MCA) tool based on the science, engineering, and technology of lake and watershed management. These technical criteria are weighted using community input regarding what ecosystem functions are of greatest value locally. The MCA tool enables users to explicitly address the tradeoffs inherent in prioritizing projects, and score criteria consistently and objectively. The MCA tool was successfully applied in late 2018 to score and prioritize among a dozen lake/watershed management project proposals.
Moderator: Mark Rosenkranz
Lake Oswego Corporation, Lake Oswego, Oregon
|10:35||Giving the Reins to Local Government to Reduce Uncertainty With Improved Data and Science
Steve Hood1, Catherine Craver2, and Jason Porter3
1Washington State Department of Ecology, Bellingham, Washington; 2Whatcom County Public Works, Bellingham, Washington; 3City of Bellingham Public Works, Bellingham, Washington
Implementation of the Lake Whatcom Phosphorous TMDL, will take up to five decades. Over those decades, we will learn more details about Lake Whatcom loading and response. We expect that knowledge may change what we consider an acceptable phosphorus load in the future. We developed a TMDL that allows for course correction. Both implementation and improved science are necessary, so every five years we focus on one aspect. We have just completed the first five-year cycle where local government developed Implementation goals for the next ten years. Washington State incorporated the first half of those goals as MS4 permit requirements. In the next five years, local governments will be improving the runoff and lake response models and determining if the course correction will be large or small. Washington State will submit a revised TMDL to EPA if the course correction is large. We will present TMDL findings; local government improvements to the runoff model: local government preparation to improve the lake response model. Local government knowledge is not just harnessed; local government is taking the reins.
|10:55||Worcester, Massachusetts’ Blue Spaces Initiative: The Case for a Municipal Lakes and Ponds Management Program
City of Worcester Department of Public Works and Parks, Worcester, Massachusetts
Worcester is a diverse, post-industrial city of 180,000 people located in the heart of Massachusetts. Its over 20 lakes and ponds suffer from a plethora of urban water quality challenges, including invasive species, cyanobacteria, and fecal bacteria exceedances. Previously, management of these waterbodies fell onto several small, volunteer-led lake associations, who took it upon themselves to perform water testing and contract lake treatments. However, efforts were sometimes disjointed and underfunded. In 2016, the City of Worcester launched its “Blue Spaces Initiative,” which aimed to promote the city’s lakes and ponds as assets for recreation and economic development. A Senior Environmental Analyst was hired through the Department of Public Works and Parks to work collaboratively with community groups and other city departments to create and fund long term management plans for four major recreational waterbodies. Since its inception, the program has facilitated the creation of an in-house sampling program, a citizen science volunteer group, educational materials and workshops for residents, active management at five waterbodies, lake recreational use promotion, and has gained broad community support. The program has been successful at prioritizing and aligning lake management goals between the city and community, and can be a model for other municipalities.
|11:15||Where Did the Groundwater Go? Evaluating Impacts of Development Around a Shallow, Seepage Lake in North Carolina
Diane Lauritsen1 and Jim Perry2
1LIMNOSCIENCES, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; 2Lumber River Council of Governments, Pembroke, North Carolina
White Lake, a shallow, 1,000-acre clear water lake has been a recreational icon for generations of North Carolinians because of the clarity of the water, and the privately-owned lakeshore is densely developed, including both residential and commercial development. Because the water is clear, and because there was visible evidence of areas of groundwater input in one area of the lake it has always been referred to as a spring-fed lake. As White Lake has received more study in recent years due to a change in trophic state, a paradigm shift is underway as some of the longstanding assumptions about the lake—such as “the springs are pumping” and the relative importance of groundwater—are changing. How groundwater inputs may have changed over time are impossible to quantify although we assume that there have been reductions in groundwater flow compared to pre-development conditions. The amount of impervious surface in the groundwater capture zone as well as the location of wastewater infrastructure (a good portion of which is the original vitreous clay pipe) and stormwater discharges to the lake are being mapped by the LRCOG. Such visualization tools are a critical component of stakeholder understanding so that we can identify what changes to the lake and its hydrology are development-related, and what realistic options are available for lake stewardship and management.
Moderator: Amy Smagula
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Concord, New Hampshire
|10:35||Dogs vs. Veligers
Mussel Dogs, Oakdale, California
Clean, Drain and Dry! The motto for boaters to perform on their watercraft to prevent the spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels. The importance of Dry is that veligers can be present in the water and since they are microscopic, there is no way to visually inspect for them. Working our Mussel Dogs, we are always asked about the dogs finding the veligers. The answer is yes, and we want to present to you the studies that have been conducted so far as well as the field work that we just completed at Lake Powell.
|10:55||Full Lake Eradication of Dreissenid Mussels Using Low Doses of Ionic Copper
David Hammond1 and Gavin Ferris2
1Earth Science Laboratories, Inc., Berkeley, California; 2Solitude Lake Management, Inc., Oxford, Pennsylvania
Zebra and quagga mussels are considered among the most damaging aquatic invasive species to affect North America. There is a widespread perception that “once you have them, you can’t get rid of them.” Yet there is a growing body of evidence for successful eradications and rapid responses. In 2017 a treatment protocol to eradicate invasive quagga mussels from an entire 30-acre lake in Pennsylvania was designed and implemented. The treatment consisted of 3 separate applications of a liquid formulation of ionic copper called EarthTec QZ, delivered over a period of 37 days. Mussel mortality was determined through use of caged adult mussels that were suspended at different locations and depths throughout the lake. Mussels began to die within 3 days of the initiation of treatment, particularly in the top 20 feet of the water body. The death of the last caged mussel was confirmed 40 days after the initiation of treatment, in a cage that had been placed at a depth of 30 feet below the surface. Microscopic analysis of plankton tows and visual inspection of the shoreline post-treatment have indicated that all veligers and adults were successfully exterminated. Analysis of eDNA taken in December 2017 and again in July 2018 came back negative for mussel DNA, and plankton tows in July, Aug and Sept 2018 produced no live veligers. One year after treatment the non-target community of zooplankton was found to be rich and diverse. The cumulative sum of copper applied throughout the entire course of treatment totaled 0.44 mg/L – noteworthy because it is less than half the concentration that EPA allows (1.0 mg/L) in a single algaecide treatment. If future monitoring continues to confirm the results observed thus far, this will be the first recorded instance of eradicating quagga mussels from an entire lake.
|11:15||Effects of Winter Temperatures on Zebra Mussel Populations in North Texas
Jessica M Treviño and Christopher Churchill
US Geological Survey, Fort Worth, Texas
Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) were first found in Texas in Lake Texoma (on the Texas/Oklahoma border) in 2009 and have since established populations in 14 other reservoirs in Texas. Current (2019) data indicate daily mean water temperatures of more than 30 °C negatively affect zebra mussel survival and reproduction. However, zebra mussel populations at lower latitudes could show enhanced tolerance to higher temperatures when compared to populations at higher latitudes, such as Michigan and New York. Compared to zebra mussel populations at higher latitudes, less is known about the effects of water temperatures during winter on zebra mussel populations at lower latitudes. Daily mean water temperatures during winters at Lake Texoma (2011–2019) and two additional reservoirs in north Texas were grouped into three categories: the number of days when the daily mean temperature was 1) less than 12 °C, 2) less than 10 °C, and 3) less than 8 °C. These temperature data were analyzed along with biological data from the USGS Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program for Texas to determine if winter temperature regimes in the three reservoirs affected zebra mussel reproductive success during subsequent spawning events in spring. There were statistically significant correlations between the duration and severity of cold-water temperatures during winter and peak veliger densities observed during the following spring. These results indicate the potential for winter temperature regimes to influence zebra mussel population dynamics at lower latitudes.
|11:35||Population Dynamics and Potential Impacts of Zebra Mussels in Turbid, Eutrophic Reservoirs
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma
The population dynamics and ecological impacts of invasive zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in eutrophic, turbid reservoirs that are characteristic of the south-central United States are not well understood. Therefore, we collected zebra mussel veliger and water clarity data from a series of Kansas reservoirs that were sampled between five and thirteen summers. We found that populations generally crashed within 3–4 years of detection, after which they recovered, but at lower peak densities than were observed prior to the crashes. We are testing the hypothesis that populations crashes are at least in part related to high water temperatures. With respect to water clarity, there were significant negative relationships between veliger densities and Secchi disk depths in most reservoirs, suggesting that zebra mussels increased water clarity when their densities were high. We are currently using these data to determine if the strength of the relationships between veligers and Secchi disk differed between reservoirs based on differences in watershed characteristics, reservoir size, and/or reservoir depth. In conclusion, our results suggest that zebra mussels exhibit consistent population crashes and can increase water clarity in eutrophic, turbid reservoirs of the south-central United States.
Moderator: Michelle Balmer
Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, Iowa
|10:35||Twenty Years of Integrative and Adaptive Management on a Minnesota Chain of Lakes
Sarah Nalven1, Diane Spector1, Ed Matthiesen1, Jeff Strom1, Joe Bischoff1, Tom Langer1, and Judie Anderson2
1Wenck Associates, Golden Valley, Minnesota; 2Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission, Plymouth, Minnesota
The Twin Lakes are a chain of four lakes in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area. The lake chain’s watershed is 5,550 acres of fully developed urban and suburban land. In 2002, all four lakes were listed as impaired for exceeding state eutrophication standards. A 2007 Total Maximum Daily Load study identified several factors contributing to this eutrophication, including watershed loading from developed areas and wetlands, and internal loading via carp sediment resuspension and sediment phosphorus release. The Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission (SCWMC) and partners used this knowledge to inform water quality management activities. These activities were large and small and integrated both watershed and in-lake management. For example, a wetland that was discharging high levels of phosphate was restored; phosphate-sorbing media was placed strategically in the watershed; a 2.2 million gallon underground infiltration gallery was constructed; road reconstruction projects incorporated dozens of sumps and rain gardens; plantings were installed along a shoreline park; and over 11,000 pounds of carp were removed. These activities were not just integrative, but adaptive—when monitoring data suggested that particulate phosphorus concentrations were decreasing but dissolved phosphorus concentrations were not, the SCWMC began installing and investigating filters containing phosphate-sorbing media. This persistent and adaptive management paid off, and in 2014, two of the lakes were delisted from the State’s list of impaired waters. The other two lakes have shown neither significant downward nor upward trends. This presentation will highlight innovative projects, discuss lessons learned, and emphasize the value of adaptive and integrative lake management.
|10:55||Recovery of Copake Lake’s Water Quality and Control of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation: A Case Study
Alejandro Reyes1 and George Knoecklein2
1Northeast Aquatic Research, Putnam Valley, New York; 2Northeast Aquatic Research, Mansfield Center, Connecticut
Copake Lake is a 166-ha lake located Columbia County, New York south of Albany. Historically, Copake Lake has had issues with algae blooms, and excessive growth of Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and curly leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus). Average annual water clarity has increased from 2.0 (± 0.8 m) prior to 2007 to 4.8 (± 1.8 m) post 2007. Clarity in 2018 reached a maximum of 8.65 m, equal to the depth of that sampling location. Marked increases in water clarity has coincided with decreases in surface nitrogen, bottom total phosphorus, ammonia and nitrate as well as a decrease in the anoxic boundary. Recovery of Copake Lake’s water quality along with the successful control of Eurasian Watermilfoil and Curly Leaf Pondweed populations has allowed the residents of Copake Lake to take full advantage of recreational opportunities in recent years. Our presentation aims to detail the history of Copake Lake’s management and discuss the mechanisms responsible for restoration of water quality.
|11:15||Lake Wawasee Inlet Nutrient Study: A Novel Approach to Lake Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration
Beth Morris1, Heather Harwood1, Jerry Sweeten2, Melinda Sweeten2, and Herb Manifold2
1Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, Syracuse, Indiana; 2Ecosystems Connections Institute, Denver, Indiana
Lake Wawasee is the largest glacial lake in Indiana with an area of 3,060 acres (1,238 hectares) and a watershed of 24,498 acres (9,914 hectares). The watershed is predominantly residential and agriculture. Like other glacial lakes in Indiana, excess Nitrogen and Phosphorus and suspended sediment are the most prevalent nonpoint source pollutants entering the lake. It is well known these pollutants result in lake hypoxia, algal blooms, sedimentation, and altered lake biota. These patterns of poor water quality in glacial lakes may result in lower property values and/or limited recreational opportunities. While there is a large body of literature relevant to lake trophic status through traditional limnology research, data that quantifies nutrient and sediment loads entering the lake by sub-watershed is lacking. The Wawasee Inlet Nutrient Study (WINS) is a novel experimental design, started 1 January 2019, with a gage station located at each of the four major tributaries and the outflow of the lake. Each station is equipped with an automatic water sampler, pressure transducer, data logger, rain gauge, and temperature probes. Six samples are collected daily April-June and weekly grab samples are collected July-March (N = 580 per gage station/year). A stream discharge rating curve is being calculated for each site and a biological assessment will be calculated once each year. This data rich approach provides Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation to target priority restoration/conservation areas, open opportunities for dialogue and partnerships, and evaluate the efficacy of conservation initiatives. Early provisional data suggests Phosphorus, Nitrogen, and sediment exceeds ecological target values.
|11:35||Restoring Water Quality in Hamilton Harbour: Successes, Challenges and the Path to Delisting
David Depew1, Jacqui Milne1, Debbie Burniston1, Julie Vanden Byllaardt2, Veronique Hiriart-Baer1, and Murray Charlton3
1Environment and Climate Change Canada, Burlington, Ontario, Canada; 2Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan, Burlington, Ontario, Canada; 3Retired, Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Hamilton Harbour has a long and detailed history of eutrophication problems such as excessive algal blooms, poor water clarity, dominance of toxic cyanobacteria and low hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen conditions. Since 1987, routine monitoring of physical, chemical and biological components of water quality has been conducted under the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan (HHRAP) with a goal toward eventual restoration of the ecosystem. Significant reductions in external phosphorus inputs during the late 1980s and early 1990s demonstrated considerable improvement in conditions over the early phases of the HHRAP; however, changes in monitored eutrophication parameters (i.e., total phosphorus, chlorophyll a, dissolved oxygen, Secchi disc depth) have been small or non-existent since. Here, we use the long-term eutrophication monitoring dataset in conjunction with ancillary datasets to explore possible reasons for the attenuated system response to further improvements with an aim toward identifying challenges on the path to eventual restoration.