Shared from the 2018-06-16 Sandusky Register eEdition

New website tracks phosphorus in Lake Erie

SANDUSKY

A new website has been launched to track progress toward reducing phosphorus in Lake Erie, a key step in reducing harmful algal blooms.

The ErieStat website, at eriestat.org, aims to encourage people to track progress in the goal of reducing phosphorus in the lake by 40 percent.

The Great Lakes Commission, which includes U.S. and Canadian officials, announced the website’s launch.

“ErieStat allows users — who can range from the public to elected officials — to really understand the state of the lake and the binational work that is going into meeting phosphorus reduction goals,” said Jon W. Allan, director of Michigan’s Office of the Great Lakes, and immediate past chair of the GLC. “ErieStat delivers the information we need about phosphorus reduction efforts in Lake Erie in one place.”

Visitors can track how key tributaries into Lake Erie have been doing in meeting the target.

For example, the Sandusky River was below the target in 2015 and 2016, the most recent year available, but above it in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The various strategies to reduce phosphorus going into the lake are discussed on the website.

Portions of the website are a work in progress. The “Investments” area is supposed to track money spent to reduce phosphorus and how well the various projects are working, but it’s largely blank. “Content will be available in early 2019,” the page states.

ErieStat is supported by funding from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation and the Joyce Foundation.

The website is part of the Blue Accounting, which is led by the Great Lakes Commission and the Nature Conservancy. The two groups get support from a variety of government and private groups. Blue Accounting gets funding from several foundations.

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