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Update on Lake Erie Nutrient and Algal Issues. Gail Hesse Ohio Lake Erie Commission March 30, 2012. August 11 2011 1330 cfs. Photo: NOAA Satellite Image. October 9, 2011. Photo: NOAA Satellite Image. Microcystis near Marblehead. October 9, 2011.

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Update on Lake Erie Nutrient and Algal Issues

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update on lake erie nutrient and algal issues

Update on Lake Erie Nutrient and Algal Issues

Gail Hesse

Ohio Lake Erie Commission

March 30, 2012


August 11 2011

1330 cfs

Photo: NOAA Satellite Image


October 9, 2011

Photo: NOAA Satellite Image

microcystis near marblehead
Microcystis near Marblehead

October 9, 2011

Photo: Richard Kraus, United States Geological Survey

algal toxins
Algal Toxins
  • Microcystin
    • World Health Organization benchmark criteria

1 ppb for drinking water

20 ppb for recreational contact

  • Anatoxin-a, Saxitoxin, Cylindrospermopsin
public water system cyanotoxin no detections in finished water
2011 Source (raw) water detection in 9 PWS Systems:



Camp Patmos

Put In Bay

LE Utilities



Carroll Township

Ottawa County

Public Water System CyanotoxinNo detections in finished water
recent current activities
Recent & Current Activities
  • Lake Erie P Task Force Phase I, Phase II
  • State of Ohio HAB Response Strategy
  • Lake Erie Millennium Network
  • Directors’ Agricultural Nutrients & Water Quality Working Group
  • Directors’ Point Source/Urban Work Group
  • Nutrient Reduction Strategy Framework for Ohio Waters - Draft
key findings
Key Findings

NW Ohio: commercial fertilizer dominates land application

More fall preparation of seed beds, more fall and winter application

Changing methods: more broadcast application without incorporation

Unknown and uncertain use of soil tests and adherence with recommendations

Changes in drainage, weather patterns

3 categories of recommendations
3 Categories of Recommendations
  • Priority practices
    • Key issues: amount, timing, incorporation, management of field runoff
    • No single practice will result in lower nutrient runoff
  • Tools to quantify edge of field runoff potential
  • Research
state of ohio hab strategy
State of Ohio HAB Strategy
  • Monitoring protocols and advisories
  • Addresses:
    • Beach advisories
    • Public drinking water
  • Under revision for 2012
  • www.ohioalgaeinfo.com
ohio state park beach algae advisory postings
Ohio State Park BeachAlgae Advisory Postings

No Contact


Avoid all contact

Public Health


Avoid direct contact with




Avoid ingestion, direct

contact with visible scum

2011 lake erie advisories
2011 Lake Erie Advisories
  • Maumee Bay State Park: Public Health Advisory
  • Lake Erie (Battery Park): Algal Bloom Advisory
  • Sandusky: Algal Bloom Advisory
directors agricultural nutrients and water quality working group
Directors’ Agricultural Nutrients and Water Quality Working Group
  • Ohio EPA, Ohio DNR and ODA
  • Focus on voluntary actions: 4Rs
    • Right fertilizer, Right rate, Right time, Right placement
  • Coordinate funding, research
    • Focus: edge of field, tile management
  • Develop/expand authorities
    • Habitual bad actors
    • Nutrient Management Plans
p task force phase ii
P Task Force Phase II
  • Build on lessons learned from Phase I
  • Incorporate findings of current research
    • Millennium Synthesis Team Funded by Ohio Lake Erie Commission and GLNPO
      • Report: 14 June 2011
  • Focus on:
    • Management actions
    • Recommendations from Directors’ Working Group
    • Reduction goal/target
lake erie protection fund
Lake Erie Protection Fund

Available on the web at: www.oplates.com



Ohio Phosphorus Task Force Report:


Directors’ Ag Nutrients & WQ Working Group