Tuesday, November 12
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Agenda subject to change.
Updated 1 November 2019

★ Denotes that the lead author is a student. 💧 Indicates citizen science-friendly session.

 

💧 B1: Citizen Science II – Lake Conservation and Management Through Education

Moderator: Steve Lundt
Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, Denver, Colorado

1:35 Re-envisioning the Field Trip: Improving K-6 Preservice Teachers’ Self-Efficacy to Teach Science to English Learners by Incorporating Field-Based Learning Experiences
Victoria Chraibi1, Erin Pearce2, Dana Manning2, and Christopher Higgins1
1Department of Biological Sciences, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas; 2Department of Curriculum and Development, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) require elementary students to examine cross-cutting concepts throughout all fields of science and use their knowledge to practice as scientists in their world. To meet these standards, teachers must be competent and confident in structuring, delivering, and assessing standards-based lessons. Moreover, the need for science teachers certified in English as a Second Language (ESL) is becoming increasingly important in the United States to foster diversity and inclusion. An effective way of engaging students from diverse backgrounds is through scientific discovery. Unfortunately, few educator preparation programs provide preservice teachers the opportunity to practice their science and ESL content area methods in an outdoor learning environment. To address this need, a new program at Timberlake Biological Field Station in Texas fosters interdisciplinary collaboration between education and biology majors to better promote teacher self-efficacy in STEM disciplines and ESL methods. Undergraduate students formulate lesson plans designed to engage K-6 students in an outdoor authentic learning experience that integrates and extends concepts introduced in the traditional science classroom. The lesson plans are based on education standards that incorporate topics addressed in long-term research projects conducted at the field station. Thus, visiting K-6 students act as scientists and researchers in content they are learning in the classroom through topics addressed at the field station as they collect empirical data. Resulting lesson plans that are authentic to the field experience environment and that also meet state educational standards for science and English learners will be made available online.

1:55 Educational Strategies Promoting Ability to Embrace Uncertainty Associated With Adaptable Solution Development in the Natural Resource Sciences
Dana Stephens
Mattie M. Kelly Environmental Institute, Northwest Florida State College, Niceville, Florida

Environmental and natural resource challenges are chaotic. There is no straightforward answer and effective solutions require interdisciplinary collaborators and contributions. Three, education strategies were implemented in an undergraduate course, Introduction to Environmental Science. Education strategies targeted ability to embrace uncertainty and incorporate interdisciplinary approaches to develop solutions to complex challenges. Impact of educational strategies was evaluated using student reflection data gathered among four student cohorts (semester) ranging in class size from 27 to 30 students. Educational strategies requiring teamwork for success not only translated to enhanced academic success (retainment of information), but also were acknowledged by students as the most beneficial experience from the class. Half of the student population sampled resonated with solution-driven thinking strategies, while less than 10% benefited and appreciated traditional academic exploration. Student responses indicated different perspectives, power of a collaborative team (more meaningful because the team overcame difficulties together), and passion to make a difference (team experience translated to everyday life) transformed ability (and perception of ability) to develop adaptable solutions to complex challenge(s). These results translate to enhanced outcomes educating and working with non-academic platforms (e.g., citizen scientists or homeowners’ associations).

2:15 Science on Seneca – Citizen Science for High School Students on Seneca Lake, New York
Nadia Harvieux1, Kirsten Abbott2, and Monica Kelly2
1Finger Lakes Institute, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York; 2Geneva High School, Geneva City School District, Geneva, New York

Science on Seneca is a program of Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Finger Lakes Institute and geoscience department engaging high school science students in authentic, field-based water quality studies of Seneca Lake. Located in the Finger Lakes region of central New York State, Seneca Lake is 38 miles long and over 600 feet deep. High school science classes access Seneca Lake aboard the colleges’ 65-foot research vessel, the William Scandling, which provides a unique opportunity to study the lake ecosystem. HWS faculty and staff provide training for teachers in the full range of scientific tests and equipment available aboard the research vessel including plankton tows, water clarity, meteorology, sediment dredges and water chemistry. Once trained, teachers bring their students out on Seneca Lake for a hands-on field science and environmental studies experience on board the William Scandling. Since the year 2000, Science on Seneca water quality data of Seneca Lake has contributed to a long-term citizen science database tracking seasonal trends (spring and fall) in chloride, pH, dissolved oxygen, water clarity and surface water temperature.

2:35 Deep Lake Explorer: Using Citizen Science to Analyze Underwater Video From the Great Lakes
Molly Wick1, Ted Angradi2, Mari Nord2, Matt Pawlowski1, Rick Debbout3, Jonathan Launspach4, and David Bolgrien2
1Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education and Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, Minnesota; 2Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, Minnesota; 3General Dynamics Information Technology, Corvallis, Oregon; 4General Dynamics Information Technology, Duluth, Minnesota

Deep Lake Explorer is a web application hosted on the Zooniverse platform that allows the public to participate in limnological research by analyzing underwater video collected from the Great Lakes (https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/usepa/deep-lake-explorer). The project is part of a USEPA study to develop underwater video as a tool for assessing ecosystem condition as part of the National Coastal Condition Assessment. It is one of the first Zooniverse projects to analyze video rather than still images. Video clips are analyzed for the presence of invasive species like round gobies and dreissenid mussels. The collection of large video datasets presents unique challenges to data analysis. They are time-consuming to analyze, and interpretation is often difficult due to variability in water clarity, bottom complexity, light, and camera movement. Deep Lake Explorer harnesses the power of crowdsourcing to obtain multiple interpretations of each clip, which can then be aggregated for each video to determine the presence of invasive species across the Great Lakes in a quick and cost-efficient way. We beta-tested the application with videos from Lakes Ontario and Huron, and the Niagara River, and compared user and expert analysis results. Consensus-based results of Zooniverse participants agreed with experts’ results for fish presence for 84% of clips, and for 88% of clips for mussel presence. Additional quality assurance methods are being explored to ensure reliability of user results. The use of citizen science for video analysis as part of assessing ecosystem condition is proving a cost- and time-efficient approach.

 

💧 B2: Social Science and Outreach

Moderator: Jackie Sprague
Federation of Vermont Lakes and Ponds, Montpelier, Vermont

1:35 LAKESMART: The Evolution of a Model for Lake Protection
Maggie Shannon1, Kathy Hoppe2, Colin Holme3, Lidie Robbins4, Jim Fenwood5, and Marie Michaud6
1Maine Lakes Society, Belgrade Lakes, Maine; 2Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Presque Isle, Maine; 3Lakes Environmental Association, Bridgton, Maine; 430 Mile River Watershed Association, Farmington, Maine; 5Cold Stream Pond Camp Owners Association, Enfield, Maine; 6China Lake Association, China, Maine

In 2003, Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP) created LakeSmart, a community-based social marketing (CBSM) program targeting shoreland property owners to increase conservation behavior. Voluntary, non-regulatory and free, LakeSmart combines site assessment and Best Management Practice (BMP) suggestions with homeowner recognition. Assessments cover four areas: Driveways and Parking; Structures and Septic Systems; Yards, Recreation Areas and Pathways; Buffers and Water Access. A score of 67% or more in all sections rewards homeowners with the coveted LakeSmart Award, distinctive signs for posting at shorefront and driveway entrances to highlight best practices and promote diffusion. From 2003 to 2013, MEDEP employed Soil and Water Conservation Districts for site assessments and engaged 453 homeowners.

The Maine Lakes Society (MLS) adopted LakeSmart in 2014, restructured the program and has since interacted with 847 people on 68 lakes, with 600% more lakes involved. MLS provides all materials and certifies awards. To increase BMP adoption and minimize expense, MLS trains lake association volunteers to promote and implement LakeSmart. Trainees conduct surveys, summarize findings and walk properties with homeowners to identify problems, recommend BMPs, and encourage goal setting. Other innovations: post-visit thank you letters with individualized recommendations and BMP instructions; online surveys and training, Commendation Certificates for non-awardees; a loon conservation incentive; geographically distributed HUBs providing technical support to volunteers.

In 2020, MLS will survey homeowners and re-evaluate sites visited 2014-2019 to quantify BMP installation, define barriers to action, and measure program effectiveness. It will also review LakeSmart standards in light of climate change in developing LakeSmart 2.0.

1:55 Vermont Lake Wise Program
Amy Picotte
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Lakes and Ponds Program, Montpelier, Vermont

The Vermont Lake Wise Program was modelled after the successful awards-based, voluntary Lake Smart Program in Maine, which strives to improve shoreland development by teaching shoreland owners lake-friendly practices. Like Lake Smart, the Vermont Lake Wise Program is designed to protect natural resources through social sciences that can change cultural trends from landscaping with lawns to protecting native shoreland plants. Forty-five percent of Vermont shorelands were developed before the regulatory Shoreland Protection Act was passed in 2014, which means that most of these existing cleared shorelands won’t be reviewed under the new law and yet remain the greatest threat to water quality in Vermont lakes. The Lake Wise Program along with Vermont’s Natural Shoreland Erosion Control Certification Program offer incentives for shoreland property owners to improve their shorelands, adapt Best Management Practices and restore Vermont shorelands and lakes. How well these efforts are working will be demonstrated and discussed through this presentation.

2:15 Protecting and Restoring Inland Lake Shoreland Habitat Through Education, Engagement, and Citizen Science in Michigan, USA
Erick Elgin1, Bindu Bhakta2, Julia Kirkwood3, Jo Latimore4, and Paul Steen5
1Michigan State University Extension, Fremont, Michigan; 2Michigan State University Extension, Pontiac, Michigan; 3Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Kalamazoo, Michigan; 4Michigan State University, Traverse City, Michigan; 5Huron River Watershed Council, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Natural shorelines on lakes provide critical habitat, slow runoff, limit erosion, and maintain water quality. However, residential and commercial development along lakeshores can dramatically alter shoreline function. Habitat is lost, and water quality and biodiversity decline. We address these issues through coordinated education, engagement, and citizen science. The Shoreline Educators Training program has taught shoreline protection to over 200 natural resource professionals and volunteers, many of whom then serve as educators statewide, resulting in over 30 property owner workshops and hundreds of homeowners trained. Over 850 property owners have evaluated their practices using our new Shoreland Stewards online self-assessment. The new Shoreland Stewards Ambassador Training Program will utilize community based social marketing techniques to increase use of proper shoreline practices. Our citizen science program, Score the Shore, enables volunteers to assess and monitor an entire lake’s shoreline. In 4 years, volunteers have assessed over 50 lakes. Finally, to support individual protection efforts, our Certified Natural Shoreline Professionals program has trained and certified over 200 professionals to implement natural shoreline techniques and practices. As a result, Michigan individuals and communities have the needed knowledge, resources, and support to protect and rehabilitate shoreland habitat.

2:35 Yamaska Watershed Organization, a Story of Successes Through the REKEAU Project
Lou Paris
Yamaska Watershed Organization, Quebec, Canada

The province of Quebec (Canada) is split into 40 watershed organizations. Yamaska Watershed Organization has to deal with the most polluted water of Quebec, and a very low water level in summer. One third of this watershed territory is mostly natural forest, one third is the most active agricultural area of the province, and one third is mostly industrial. So far, most projects assessing pollution aimed to reduce nutriments run-off from agriculture. However, REKEAU project is the first to target industrial water management. Within a year, it led to the creation of an interactive online tool that helps industries to reduce their water consumption by giving personalized best management practices (BMPs). Launching happened under the form of a contest where prices to win were funding to implement the BMPs and free consultations with BMPs specialists. In parallel, REKEAU project included the organization of a Decontamination Salon, where experts in systems and technologies related to contaminants removal held a stand. Industries and wastewater treatment plant managers were welcome to walk around and see how they can improve their water treatment to reduce contaminants. Finally, REKEAU project included the creation of an online map showing all the main industries in the watershed, which ones are connected to the sewer system, water quality data and other relevant information. This map mostly aimed to help municipalities to have a better understanding of what is going on on their territory.

 

💧 B3: Septic Systems

Moderator: Kirsten Nelson
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Concord, New Hampshire

1:35 Septic Leachate Assessment of Fish Lake, Indiana
Jeff Boeckler
Illinois Lakes Management Association, Springfield, Illinois

Recent concerns form residents of Fish Lake prompted the local Conservancy District to commission a study to assess whether or not septic systems are negatively impacting the Fish Lake chain and its water quality. Health and surface water quality concerns arising from septic systems can include bacteria and nutrient loading, synthetic detergents, chlorides, and other contaminants. Fish Lake is located in the east-central section of LaPorte County, Indiana, and is comprised of Upper Fish Lake, Mud Lake (139 acres), and Lower Fish Lake (134 acres). The lake is approximately 23 feet at its deepest point in Upper Fish Lake. The 5.7 miles of shoreline is mostly developed with lakeside single family homes, all of which have individual septic systems; the highest density of homes is on Lower Fish Lake. Existing datasets and prior studies have not indicated septic leachate to be an issue however no such studies have directly focused on the subject.

The recent assessment evaluated a series of septic leachate indicators to draw conclusions and address resident concerns. Study components included: Optical Brightening Agents and fluorometry, dissolved organic content, bacteria levels and DNA biomarkers, conductivity, and nutrient concentrations. This presentation will cover assessment methods and extent, results, and conclusions.

1:55 Phosphorus Exportation From Septic Installations in Two Different Watersheds
Christian Corbeil and Roxane Poirier
Groupe Hémisphères, Québec, Québec, Canada

Groupe Hémisphères has worked to model the export of phosphorus for two lakes in two different watersheds, each with distinct problems in phosphorus input. Lake Maskinongé has a mainly forested and leisure resorts watershed, with few farming, and experiences recurring harmful algal blooms. Phosphorus export modeling is needed to target control measures and to determine if phosphorus is released from lake sediments. The second lake, Lake Saint-Charles, is at a meso-eutrophic stage and is the source of drinking water for Quebec City. We want to determinate the proportion of phosphorus export attributable to the residences of its main tributary.

The modulation of phosphorus’s contributions is carried out according to characteristics influencing long term retention of the phosphorus and the cumulative natural constraints (surface deposits, drainage, slopes, flood zones, wetlands, rock outcrops, and riparian strips). The various physical factors allowing the evaluation of the performance of the septic installations and the risks of phosphorus export are then superimposed by cartographic means. The factors’ weighting is based on available knowledge, geomatic data and field observations.

Results for Lake Maskinongé’s watershed shows that external phosphorus inputs represent half of phosphorus input (198 mg/m²/year), of which 51% of anthropic input is attributable to the septic installations. Nonetheless, internal inputs from lake sediments, because of prolonged period of anoxia in the hypolimnion, represent 168 mg/m²/year.

In the Lake Saint-Charles’s watershed, results of the phosphorus export modeling will be integrated into the GIBSI hydrological modeling system to take into consideration the Lake Saint-Charles’s watershed particularities.

2:15 Town of Lake George Septic Initiative Program: An Analysis of the Management of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems in the Town of Lake George
Chris Navitsky
Lake George Waterkeeper, Lake George, New York

The Town of Lake George Septic Initiative Program is located in the southern basin of Lake George in the Town of Lake George (Warren County), New York. There are an estimated 1200 onsite wastewater treatment systems within the Town of varying ages and conditions with no existing program to manage their effectiveness or maintenance. Aging treatment systems and outdated technology can have significant impacts water quality as well as health and economic effects.

To address these potential impacts, the Lake George Town Board introduced the Septic Initiative Program mandating that all existing onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) within the Town are to be catalogued and inspected with the goal that all OWTSs are functioning optimally. The Town started the program by evaluating parcels in Critical Environmental Areas defined as within 500 feet of the Lake George shoreline and 100 feet of streams tributary to Lake George.

Results of the existing system evaluations determined a lack of knowledge of property owners on their systems and when information is known, many systems are undersized, aged, or apply outdated technology. Maintenance is falling well short of what is necessary for systems to function properly and provide adequate treatment. All of this justifies the consideration by the Town of Lake George for an onsite wastewater treatment system management program.

The FUND for Lake George and the Lake George Waterkeeper administered the program and utilized GIS analysis and mapping to create an algorithm to prioritize areas for the management of onsite wastewater treatment systems. Factors were determined, analyzed and weighted to create three data sets – Site Suitability consisting of surface water setbacks, soil type, depth of soils (to bedrock and groundwater) and slopes, all influencing overall treatment efficiency; Existing System Evaluation consisting of a system’s age, components, maintenance and inspection; and Algae Biomonitoring Indices applying existing protocols and metrics to collected samples as evidence of water quality impacts.

2:35 Bringing a National Perspective to Onsite Wastewater Systems on Lakes and Ponds
Mary Clark
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (retired), Montpelier, Vermont

Since onsite wastewater systems serve approximately 25% of the nation’s population, what is the bigger picture on where onsite wastewater (septic) systems fit into the efforts to protect, restore, maintain and enhance our lakes and ponds? The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working with the Decentralized Wastewater MOU Partners comprised of 18 water-related organizations that are committed to identifying and working collaboratively at the national level to improve decentralized performance and protect the nation’s public health and water resources. Each year, EPA sponsors SepticSmart Week, an outreach campaign for homeowners with septic systems, where educational materials are developed for distribution by municipalities, lake and watershed associations, and other targeted audiences.

 

B4: Phosphorus Inactivation I – Phoslock

Moderator: Nigel Traill
Phoslock Water Solutions Ltd, Sydney, Australia

1:35 Lake Responses to Phoslock® Treatment in a Canadian Lake: Phosphorus Reduction and “Shift” in Phytoplankton Composition
Dolors Planas and Serge Paquet
UQAM, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Lake Bromont is a small, thermally stratified lake (< 1 km2) in which summer cyanobacteria (CYAN) blooms have been intensifying in the last decade. A five-year (2007–2011) study to assess the nutrient sources and phytoplankton structure demonstrated that sediment release was the main source of phosphorus (P) and the internal (P) loading contributed up to 80% of total P-concentrations (TP). The dominant CYAN in the summer blooms (Planktothrix) grew in the metalimnion-hypolimnion (met-hyp) close to the phosphorus sources, forming dense peaks of more 1900 kg. An upward mobilisation of the met-hyp P occurred during storm events, resulting in CYAN surface blooms and impairing recreational activities in the lake. To restrict dissolved P-internal loading, the P-capping lanthanum-bentonite was applied in the fall of 2017. Despite the longest period of anoxia ever recorded, deep-water P-concentrations and algal biomass decreased in the ice-free season following the treatment and there was a change in the algae species composition. In early spring, for the first time during this millennium, diatoms dominated and CYAN only represented 9% of the total algal abundance. Towards the end of spring, CYAN started to grow and became dominated by species other than Planktothrix. The 2018 dominant species were Anabaena sps. that grew in surface waters when phosphorus was available, at high temperature and light intensities. Some small CYAN bloom Anabaena sps appeared following heavy summer rains. The internal P-loading reduction changed the trophic status of the lake from hypereutrophic to meso-eutrophic during the first year after treatment.

1:55 Mitigating Internal Nutrient Loading in a Florida Treatment Wetland
West M. Bishop1 and Mary L. Szafraniec2
1SePRO Corporation, SePRO Research and Technology Campus, Whitakers, North Carolina; 2Wood Environment & Infrastructure, Inc., Tampa, Florida

Many wetlands around the world, both natural and constructed, and especially in Florida, have significant legacy nutrient accumulation and subsequently become sources of nutrient contamination to downstream receiving waterbodies. Prior to conducting a large-scale and costly water quality restoration project, such as inactivation of sediment nutrients, it is important to understand how the action may affect the overlying water column and downstream waterbodies after implementation. One way to estimate water quality improvements is to measure sediment nutrient release (or flux). Wood E&I has developed field and laboratory Standard Operating Procedures to collect and incubate intact sediment cores to evaluate several management approaches toward determining the most economical and effective approach to reduce flux. The magnitude and variability of internal nutrient flux rates (orthophosphate and ammonia-nitrogen) and loads from field collected wetland sediments with extreme nutrient accumulation to the water column were compared across a multitude of alternatives that included capping with clean fill, organic material, Phoslock®, alum, and biological amendments. Phoslock consistently performed very well in the wetland sediment core studies. The Phoslock amendments in the core study conducted in concert with a pilot application had significantly decreased sediment P flux rates (2.44 mg/m2/d) compared with control sediments (16.90 mg/m2/d). Due to variability, the ammonia flux was not significantly different, though Phoslock averaged less than 50% release compared with control sediment. These results can be used in the prioritization of management approaches for water resource restoration initiatives, and to quantify the potential benefits of sediment nutrient management on water quality.

2:15 Managing Eutrophication Through Chemical Inactivation of Phosphate
Maíra Mucci1, Guido Waajen2, and Miquel Lürling1
1Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands; 2Water Authority Brabantse Delta, Breda, The Netherlands

Lanthanum modified bentonite (Phoslock®) and aluminium salts (e.g., Polyaliminium chloride –PAC and Alum) are commonly used to manage eutrophication and mitigate cyanobacterial blooms. Both are able to strongly reduce phosphate (P) causing an enforced phosphorus limitation in the system and preventing an algal overgrowth. However, there are differences between them in primary modes of action, P-binding capacity and their ecological consequence, which allows fine-tuned applications. We will discuss the differences between the two groups of eutrophication control materials based on the literature, highlighting what is still unknown. In addition, an example of a whole lake intervention will be shown where PAC (primarily as coagulant) and Phoslock® (primarily as sediment P fixative) were used in combination. The treatment aimed to target both dissolved and particulate phosphate, and to block P-release from the sediment. After application of 6 tons of PAC and 32.5 tons of Phoslock®, total phosphate, turbidity, and chlorophyll a were reduced in Lake de Kuil (the Netherlands). Secchi depth increased and microcystin concentration were reduced drastically. Monitoring results will be presented in detail shedding light on the efficacy and durability of the treatment.

2:35 Nutrient Manipulation and Selective Control of Cyanobacteria to Improve Trophic Function in Freshwater Ecosystems
West M. Bishop1 and David Beasley2
1SePRO Corporation, SePRO Research and Technology Campus, Whitakers, North Carolina; 2SOLitude Lake Management, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Algae function as a large source of food for aquatic organisms and are a critical component of aquatic ecosystems. In many fisheries programs, fertilizer is amended to promote overall algal productivity. Cyanobacteria are often not easily consumed nor support trophic transfer of nutrients. Understanding specific nutrients to amend or remove is critical to selecting for a beneficial algal assemblage. Independent or in concert with this, strategic use of algaecides can selectively control the cyanobacteria while allowing beneficial algae to persist. Case studies presented will include specific P removal where Phoslock removed P (> 80%) to significantly shift the N:P ratio higher (> 30:1), which subsequently led to an assemblage not dominated by cyanobacteria. Additionally, nitrogen fertilizer amendments increased the N:P ratio (average ~40:1) and was inversely proportional to in situ phycocyanin concentrations. Reactively, a combined copper algaecide and water quality enhancer and granular peroxide algaecide were able to selectively control nuisance cyanobacteria and maintain a better assemblage without cyanobacterial dominance. Multiple management approaches are needed to offset cyanobacterial growth and dominance in freshwater systems. This research will assist managers in ecologically sound directions to select for more beneficial algal assemblages.

 

B5: Harmful Algal Blooms I

Moderator: Ellen Preece
Robertson-Bryan, Inc., Elk Grove, California

1:35 Improving Scientific Partnership and Integrated Strategies to Address the Global Challenge of Harmful Algae
Mark Heilman1 and Terry McNabb2
1Aquatic Plant Management Society (APMS), SePRO, Carmel, Indiana; 2NALMS, APMS, Aquatechnex, Bellingham, Washington

The challenge of harmful algal blooms (HAB) is a global crisis with ever-growing risk to human health and the ecological integrity of freshwater ecosystems. The North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) and the Aquatic Plant Management Society (APMS) are two of the most relevant scientific societies with missions focused on the management of HAB and improvement of water quality. NALMS and APMS are in a collective position to improve partnership with a great number of aquatic scientists involved in both Societies. The acute nature of current HAB problems demands continuous improvement of methods, integration of techniques, and consensus technical approaches. For the most effective solutions to the HAB crisis, historical segmentation between different scientific and technical groups involved in water resource management should be carefully evaluated and efforts made to improve partnership. Government entities and the public are looking to NALMS, APMS and similar technical experts for consensus strategies for how to sustainably improve long-term water quality. In addition, recent events in the Great Lakes, Lake Okeechobee/southern Florida, and countless other global sites show a dramatic need for short-term relief from HAB outbreaks and their impacts to ecology, water use, economic activity, and human health. NALMS and APMS have the opportunity for closer collaboration to offer ever-improving, common answers to this critical problem. This paper will seek to review status of collaborative management and highlight novel projects illustrating excellent integration of methods. A session discussion will also help identify future opportunities for partnership to better address the global HAB threat.

1:55 Cyanobacteria Monitoring in the New Hampshire Lakes Lay Monitoring Program – The Good, the Bad, and the Exciting
Shane Bradt, James Haney, Jeff Schloss, Bob Craycraft, Sabina Perkins, and Amy Arsenault
University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire

Intense interest in cyanobacteria-related issues in lakes in the New England (USA) region resulted in the creation of the New England Cyanobacteria Monitoring Workgroup in 2013. This group, which officially became Cyanobacteria Monitoring Collaborative (CMC) in 2016, brought together stakeholders from across the region to develop a set of methods which could be used across a variety of programs to monitor cyanobacteria in lakes. At the same time the CMC was developing its approaches, the New Hampshire Lakes Lay Monitoring Program (LLMP), a volunteer lake monitoring program run by Cooperative Extension at the University of New Hampshire, became interested in making cyanobacteria monitoring part of the suite of tools available to its participants.

While the CMC-produced methods showed great promise, and there was clear interest in cyanobacteria monitoring expressed by LLMP participants, a good deal of work was needed by the LLMP staff and leadership to determine the combination of methods and logistics which could meet the needs expressed by lake associations, as well as, be useful to and sustainable by the LLMP. This presentation will discuss the way in which the integration of cyanobacteria monitoring was (and is being) attempted by the LLMP, as well as, detail the good, the bad, and the exciting turns of the road that have emerged over this journey.

2:15 Cyanobacteria, Citizen Scientists and the Finger Lakes
Lisa B. Cleckner1, Trevor Massey1, John Halfman1, Frank DiOrio2, Bill Roege2, Lindsay McMillan3, Kevin Olvany4, and Nadia Harvieux1,3
1Finger Lakes Institute, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York; 2Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, Geneva, New York; 3Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association, Canandaigua, New York; 4Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council, Canandaigua, New York

Water resources and natural capital such as landscapes and agriculture are the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes region and economy. In addition to supporting the tourism and agriculture industries that comprise over $3B in economic activity in the region, the lakes provide drinking water to over one million residents in Central and Western Upstate New York communities. Events of harmful algal blooms (HABs), defined as high concentrations of cyanobacteria (> 25 µg/L) in lake water that produce toxins such as microcystin, have been observed with increasing frequency in the Finger Lakes over the past several years. The Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith College has been partnering with Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association and the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council to screen shoreline samples for the concentration of cyanobacteria chlorophyll using a bbe FluoroProbe over the past three years. The goal is to provide timely information for citizens to make informed decisions about usage of the lakes for recreation and other purposes. This presentation will focus on challenges coordinating information exchange among state agencies, local governments and lake associations and the reliability of using a FluoroProbe as an indicator of HAB events. Relationships among cyanobacteria concentrations, cyanobacteria types, microcystin concentrations and lakes will also be discussed.

2:35 Awareness and Perceptions of Cyanobacteria and Their Health Risks: A Survey of Vermonters
Bridget O’Brien, David Grass, Sarah Vose, Lori Cragin
Vermont Department of Health, Burlington, Vermont

Anecdotal evidence points to a wide range of knowledge and perceptions of cyanobacteria in Vermont, with circumstantial observations showing that some Vermonters believe the risks are very high, while others are seen swimming in cyanobacteria blooms and think beach closures are unnecessary. Because data on the knowledge and perception of cyanobacteria in Vermont had not been gathered in a systematic way, it was unclear what knowledge gaps and misperceptions needed to be addressed by public health messaging campaigns. In 2018, the Vermont Department of Health conducted two focus groups and an online survey to help address these gaps. The online survey of 600 Vermonters asked questions about respondents’ knowledge and awareness of cyanobacteria blooms, their perceived harmfulness, behaviors they have displayed around cyanobacteria in the past, and actions they would take in the future regarding cyanobacteria. Information was also collected on demographics and where respondents would look for more information on cyanobacteria. Analysis of focus group discussions shows participants highlighting challenges in language used to communicate about cyanobacteria, especially the word bloom, and the differences in how the terms bacteria and algae are perceived. Survey results showed that 70% of respondents reported being very aware or somewhat aware of cyanobacteria, with men reporting higher levels of awareness than women. Differences in reported awareness level, perceived harmfulness, and behaviors displayed around cyanobacteria were also seen across age groups, education levels, income brackets, and regions of Vermont.

 

💧 B6: Lake Restoration II – Watershed Management & Assessment

Moderator: David Neils
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Concord, New Hampshire

1:35 Restoring a Degraded Watershed Using a Public-Private Partnership Model
Alan D. Steinman, Maggie E. Oudsema, and Michael C. Hassett
Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University, Muskegon, Michigan

Lake Macatawa (Lake Mac), located in southwest Michigan, is the receiving water body for a highly degraded watershed and has exhibited the symptoms of a hypereutrophic lake for over 40 years. Because of excess phosphorus (P) enrichment, the lake and all of its tributaries are included on Michigan’s 303(d) list of impaired water bodies, prompting the issuance of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) of 50 µg TP/L from its prior TP concentration of 125 µg/L. Project Clarity is a large-scale, multidisciplinary, collaborative, public-private partnership whose overarching goal is to restore the water quality in Lake Mac and its surrounding watershed. To this end, examples of restoration projects in the watershed include constructed wetlands, two-stage ditches, and stabilization of streambanks to address the elevated sediment and TP concentrations during storm events, as well as iron slag filter beds to address elevated bioavailable P concentrations in tile drain effluent. Monitoring data indicate no significant improvement in lake water quality since these restoration efforts began in 2015. On-going monitoring and experimental results are reviewed, and an examination of the strengths and weaknesses of the public-private partnership are discussed.

1:55 Strategic Lake Protection in Minnesota Using Scientific Research, Monitoring Data and Watershed Planning
Moriya Rufer1, Paul Radomski2, Peter Jacobson3, Jeff Hrubes4, Dan Steward4, and Mitch Brinks5
1Houston Engineering, Maple Grove, Minnesota; 2Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Brainerd, Minnesota; 3Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul, Minnesota; 4Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, Brainerd, Minnesota; 5Northern Minnesota Technical Service Area 8, Brainerd, Minnesota

Minnesota lakes are seeing increased development and agriculture in their watersheds. Since the Clean Water Act, the emphasis has been on the regulatory process and restoring degraded waters. Science-based methodologies were needed to make the case for funding permanent protection of non-degraded lakes in Minnesota. Research suggested that total phosphorus concentrations increased significantly over pre-development concentrations in lakes that have watersheds with land use disturbances greater than 25%. A series of methodologies have been developed by state and local governments to strategically target lakes protection. These protection strategies are being implemented in Minnesota on a major watershed scale (HUC8) through Local Watershed Plans. During a planning process, lakes in the watershed are prioritized using research and monitoring data from a range of sources including lakes of biological significance (supporting species such as Cisco, trout, wild rice), sensitivity to phosphorus, and water quality trends. The highest priority lakes for protection are then set a goal of maintaining 75% of the acreage of the minor watershed in an undisturbed land use (usually forested). This protection includes a mosaic of management tools to keep land forested including conservation easements, acquisition, and forest stewardship with tax incentives on private lands. In the Mississippi Headwaters Basin (HUC: 070101), 59% of the total acres are protected and 32% of the minor watersheds in this basin are over the 75% protection goal.

2:15 Managing and Restoring Lakes: An Integrated Approach
Claire Bleser1, Joe Bischoff2, and Scot Sobiech3
1Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District, Chanhassen, Minnesota; 2Wenck, Golden Valley, Minnesota; 3BARR, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Managing and restoring our lakes is not as easy as following a recipe. Instead, it requires a multi-faceted approach in order to develop solutions that create a healthy lake environment. In 2018, the Riley-Purgatory-Bluff Creek Watershed District developed a Lake Management Decision Tree as part of their 10-year strategic plan. The Lake Management Decision Tree highlights the importance of looking at chemical, physical and ecological indicators in overall lake health as well as the feedback mechanisms between these indicators. The development of the tree is based on over 20 years of lake management.

This tree highlights the importance of monitoring and assessing the health of lakes. Each indicator is broken down within the tree and actions steps identified. Furthermore, the tree has allowed the District to be clear and transparent with its constituents as to the actions the District will be taking. This has allowed us to strengthen relations between the District and lake associations.

This presentation will highlight the lake management decision tree, provide examples of how the tree is utilized, showcase success stories, and describe lessons learned. If you are interested in learning about how fish can impact water quality, how to determine if an internal phosphorus load control should be considered, or how to utilize an integrated lake management approach, this presentation is for you. Restoring our lakes has to be multi-faceted for lakes to be healthy again.

2:35 Lake Eden and Lake Elmore Watershed Assessments
Peter Danforth
Lamoille County Conservation District, Morrisville, Vermont

Lamoille County Conservation District was recently awarded two grants to assess the Lake Elmore and Lake Eden watersheds. Work has begun on both assessments to address potential sediment and nutrient loading into the lakes as well as any other ecological impacts that may or may not be occurring. The methodology of these assessments is wholistic in nature as they include input from all stakeholders and partners. Fitzgerald Environmental Associates LLC is overseeing the stormwater master plan for the basin and is taking input from partners through stream walks, road erosion inventories, forest and agricultural activities and shoreline assessments. Any previous water monitoring activities and/or partner database work such as culvert inventories is also taken into consideration. Concurrently some lakeshore owners are taking part in the Lakewise program to protect their shorelines through Best Management Practices and receive Lakewise certifications.

This multi-layered approach to assess the lakes conditions involves all stakeholders to create a sense of community in the decision-making process that leads to the implementation of projects. Through these assessments Fitzgerald Environmental Associates LLC will create approximately 30 one-page opportunity summary sheets. These opportunities are then prioritized based on costs and benefits through stakeholder input. From these inputs 5 projects are brought to 30% design for implementation.