Quantifying Nutrient Retention by Lake Erie Coastal Wetlands

Project Overview Resource
October 2018

Excessive amounts of phosphorus entering Lake Erie has been leading to harmful algal blooms in the lake and low oxygen conditions in lake bottom waters. Coastal managers identified wetland restoration as a critical management tool to reduce nutrient loading to Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay, Ohio. However, the capacity of different coastal wetlands to retain nutrients and improve water quality is not well understood. To meet this need, a collaborative research project developed a unique analytical approach to quantify the long-term capacity for riverine Lake Erie coastal wetlands to retain phosphorus. The project team created a series of technical tools, including a monitoring protocol and freely available statistical code, to enable others to calculate the retention capacity of their own wetlands.

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