Pollution in the Great Lakes Amy Latham, Amanda Tsang, Eric Wright Environ 110, Section 5 A Study of how pollution affects wildlife in the Great Lakes
Introduction • Earlier beliefs that water could dissolve chemicals and other wastes led to the degradation of the Great Lakes ecosystem • Pollution has negative effects on the flora and fauna of the Great Lakes ecosystem. -reducing water quality, contaminating soils, and harming the lake wildlife and surrounding region
HYPOTHESIS • To demonstrate a direct effect that pollution has on the Great Lakes ecosystem, we analyzed data from four pollutants and the biomass of trout residing in Lake Huron. ?
Background: Sources of Pollution • Point-source pollution - direct source of pollution (e.g. a pipe) - mercury, sewage, and fecal matter • Non point-source pollution - non-specific locations (e.g. air-bound pollution, industrial runoff) - fertilizers and pesticides
Background: Effects of Pollution • Pollutants move up food chains • Reduce fish stocks • Decrease water quality • Spreads diseases
Methods • Researched material through Mirlyn website • Used Microsoft Excel to create graphs to analyze the relation between pollutants and the Great Lakes. • We used specific data from the biomass of Lake Huron Trout and the concentration of four prominent chemicals in Lake Huron
Results and Discussion Pollutants concentration found in tissue of Lake Huron trout. PCB and toxaphene have highest concentration.
Results and Discussion Relationship between the four pollutants and trout biomass (kg).
Results and Discussion Specific correlation between trout biomass and PCB concentration
Results and Discussion Specific correlation between trout biomass and toxaphene concentration.
Implications • Restricts wildlife and fish growth • Wildlife deformities and spread of diseases • Degrades natural communities • Limits wildlife consumption • Closes beaches and hinders other recreational activities
Solutions • Clean Water Act, 1972 • Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, 1972 • State of the Lakes Ecosystem conference • Clean Michigan Initiative, 1998
Conclusion • Great Lakes are an important source of freshwater and their contamination affects both the wildlife surrounding the region and those who utilize its vast resources • Though measures have been taken, more are needed to protect the valuable resources of the Great Lakes
References • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ToxFAQs for Polychlorinated Biphenyls(PCBs). Feb 2001. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts17.html#bookmark02 (Oct. 23 2006) • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ToxFAQs for Toxaphene. Sept. 1997. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts94.html (Oct. 23 2006) • Hickey, J.P., Batterman, S. A., and Chernyak, S. M. 2006 Trends of Chlorinated Organic Contaminants in Great Lakes Trout and Walleye from 1970 to 1998. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 50, 97-110 • Liu, Lubo; Phanikumar, Mantha S.; Molloy, Stephanie L.; Whitman, Richard L.; Shivley, Dawn A.; Nevers, Meredith B.; Shwab, David J.; Rose, Joan B. 2006. Modeling the transport and Inactivation of E. coli and Enterococci in the Near-Shore Region of Lake Michigan. Environ. Sci. Technol. 40, 5022-5028 • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. 1999. First Round of Environmental Bonds sold Over Internet for Clean Michigan Initiative. Office of Great Lakes Activity Report, Lansing, MI.
References Continued • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. 1998. Great Lakes Trends: Into the New Millennium. Office of the Great Lakes, Lansing, MI. • Robertson, Andrew, and Lauenstein, Gunnar G. 1998. Distribution of Chlorinated Organic Contaminants in Dreissenid Mussels Along the Southern Shores of the Great Lakes. J. Great Lakes Res. 24(3): 608-619 • Shear, Harvey. 2006. The Great Lakes, an Ecosystem Rehabilitated, but Still Under Threat. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 113: 199-225 • TEACH. Water Pollution in the Great Lakes http://www.great-lakes.net/teach/pollution/water/water1.html (Oct. 23, 2006) • U.S. Environmental Protections Agency. Clean Water Act, July 2006. http://www.epa.gov/r5water/cwa.htm (Oct. 23, 2006)