HABs Collaboratory

Linking Science and Management to Reduce Harmful Algal Blooms
The Great Lakes HABs Collaboratory is a “collective laboratory” that seeks to improve communication among scientists, and between scientists and decision-makers, on issues related to Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in the Great Lakes. Established by the Great Lakes Commission (GLC), in partnership with U.S. Geological Survey – Great Lakes Science Center in 2015, the HABs Collaboratory is helping to establish a common knowledge base of where science currently is on HABs, what future science needs may be, and how the region can work together to better prevent and manage HABs.
HABs in the Great Lakes have poisoned drinking water, threatened public health, and hurt the regional economy. Management is a complex, regional challenge that cannot be addressed by one state or by traditional management. The Great Lakes HABs Collaboratory is part of the GLC’s portfolio of collaborative projects that apply the collective impact framework to address complex problems facing the Great Lakes. The model for the Collaboratory also builds on similar coordinative efforts by the GLC to address invasive Phragmites and invasive mussels in the Great Lakes.

Project Narrative

In late 2015, the Great Lakes Commission, in partnership with USGS-Great Lakes Science Center established the Great Lakes HABs Collaboratory. The overall goal is to create a collective laboratory that enables science-based information sharing among scientists, as well as between scientists and decisions makers working on Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in the Great Lakes. The HABs Collaboratory also provides a network for developing a common knowledge basis of current science and science needs, strategies for transmitting key science to managers, and opportunities getting management feedback on science-based decision support needs.

Nutrient pollution is a serious problem globally and in selected regions of the Great Lakes where it has manifested as nearshore Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and offshore anoxic zone (hypoxia).These impacts are most prominent in the three major bays, which correspond to the three GLRI “Priority Watersheds”: Lower Fox/Green Bay, Saginaw River/Bay, and Maumee river/Western Lake Erie Basin. HABs management is an example of a complex-system, regional-scale challenge that cannot be addressed by traditional single-agent, single discipline approach.

Project Partners

Funding

The Collaboratory is funded through a cooperative agreement between the Great Lakes Commission and the U.S. Geological Survey – Great Lakes Science Center.

For More Information

Victoria Pebbles
Program Director
Great Lakes Commission
734-971-9135
vpebbles@glc.org

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