Wetlands are an essential part of aquatic ecosystems. An important function they have is filtering the runoff that enters water bodies, which can improve water quality and help to prevent things like toxic algae blooms. But--not all wetlands are created the same. In this webinar, Dr. Nandita Basu, Associate Professor of Water Sustainability and Ecohydrology at the University of Waterloo, and Dr. Pascal Badiou, Research Scientist at Ducks Unlimited Canada, presented their research on the particular importance of small wetlands in improving water quality in agricultural watersheds. We originally hosted this webinar on Sept 25, 2017. You can view the recording at www.freshwateralliance.ca/fresh_ideas_wetlands
In November 2016 we provided comments to the Ontario government on their policy proposal "Reducing Phosphorus to Minimize Algal Blooms in Lake Erie (EBR# 012-8760). To access our submission: Comments on Ontario’s Proposal on Reducing Phosphorus to Minimize Algal Blooms in Lake Erie
In June 2016, the Canadian Freshwater Alliance in partnership with Alliance for the Great Lakes, Environmental Defence Canada, Freshwater Future, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, & Ohio Environmental Council, provided detailed recommendations to Environment and Climate Change Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, encouraging the governments to do more than rely on the same approaches that have failed to protect Lake Erie in the past.
The groups recommend that each state and province along Lake Erie develop plans that include:
- A comprehensive monitoring program and the use of modelling that tracks progress and directs an adaptive management strategy;
- Adequate and long term funding for science and solutions;
- Proactive compliance and enforcement mechanisms to ensure existing rules are being followed;
- Specific programs and policies, which include common-sense regulations on farming practices; green infrastructure to reduce stormwater; upgrading and fixing failing home septic systems; and ratcheting back of phosphorus discharges from wastewater treatment plants. Tactics should be implemented in proportion to the contributing sources and emphasize achieving significant reductions from the agriculture sector; and
- Working with the public to develop and implement solutions to reduce phosphorus by 40 percent.
To access the full report: Expectations for Domestic Action Plans under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides twice-weekly forecasts of the Microcystis harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Erie. You can subscribe to receive the bulletins, or access the forecast archive online.