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Lake Erie 2019 Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI)

Jim Watkins, Steph Figary, Joe Connolly, Chris Marshall, Beth Whitmore, Patrick Boynton.  Funding from Great Lakes Restoration Initiative – EPA&USGS

The Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) is a five-year rotation of intensive sampling efforts for each of the five Great Lakes specified within the binational Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. This increased focus enables higher spatial and temporal resolution of sampling than typical annual surveys. 2019 was the year for intensive sampling of Lake Erie.  Lake Erie faces challenges including nutrient loading, harmful algal blooms, and invasive species.  The three basins increasing in depth from west to east have distinct character.  CBFS was funded by USGS to collect and process lower food web (phytoplankton, zooplankton, and fish larvae) samples from 23 sites.  We collaborated with US EPA MED in Duluth, MN, EPA GLNPO, Ohio State University, and Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. CBFS faculty, graduate students, and technicians participated in four surveys of Lake Erie out of Cleveland, Ohio on the R/V Lake Guardian in 2019, including water collection and zooplankton tows.  In 2020 and 2021 we continued analyses of these data, including contributions to the HABs project below.