MRBPLG Winter 2019 Meeting

The Winter 2019 MRBPLG meeting was held on February 26 at the Stroede Center, 319 Wayne Ave., Defiance.

Nicole Zacharda, Program Manager at the Great Lakes Commission shared information on the Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program as well as the Blue Accounting Program:

The GLSNRP is the Commission’s long-standing small grants program, which provides funding to local units of government, conservation districts, and other organizations interested in innovative practices to reduce sediment and nutrient losses to the Great Lakes and their tributaries. Funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the GLSNRP currently has 51 awards (across 4 annual funding cycles) around the Great Lakes, with many projects taking place in the Maumee watershed.

Ms. Zacharda will also shared information on two “issues” she leads under the Commission’s Blue Accounting initiative, a joint endeavor with The Nature Conservancy, which strives to share information on how our region’s investments in desired outcomes (like safe and sustainable supplies of drinking water) are doing.  Blue Accounting’s ErieStat is a developing tool for tracking progress toward a healthier Lake Erie and the Great Lakes basin-wide Source Water Initiative which is protecting drinking water at its sources by lifting up local, state, and federal efforts with any toward meeting shared goals for nutrients, planning, spill prevention response, contaminants of emerging concern, and binational consistency.

Dr. Tim Davis, Associate Professor at Bowling Green State University  presented on the Lake Erie Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health.

Bowling Green State University has been tapped to lead national research into understanding and preventing toxic algal blooms that plague portions of the Great Lakes and impact freshwater sources around the world.

The BGSU Lake Erie Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health, founded with a $5.2 million federal grant, is energizing and expanding research on harmful algal blooms that pose a threat to the health of humans and wildlife. In 2014, toxins from an algal bloom contaminated Toledo’s water supply and highlighted the urgency to study this problem.

BGSU is one of four universities the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are funding with a total of $30 million in grants to study the effects of harmful algal blooms on our oceans, estuaries and the Great Lakes.

The Lake Erie Center, a collaborative effort among BGSU and nine other universities and research institutions, is formalizing and strengthening research partnerships on cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cHABs). It is the only project focused on fresh water. The other NIEHS/NSF projects focus on oceans and estuaries.