Great Lakes Mercury Connections: The Extent and Effects of Mercury Pollution in the Great Lakes Region
The Great Lakes Commission sponsored a binational scientific synthesis effort through its U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-funded Great Lakes Air Deposition program. The purpose of the synthesis project was to foster binational collaboration among mercury researchers and resource managers from government, academic, and non-profit institutions to compile a wide variety of mercury data for the Great Lakes region, and to address key questions concerning mercury contamination, the bioaccumulation of methylmercury in food webs, and the resulting exposures and risks.
The synthesis effort began in November of 2008 and has involved more than 170 scientists and managers working to compile and evaluate more than 300,000 mercury measurements and to conduct new modeling and analyses. This synthesis provides a comprehensive overview of the sources, cycling, and impacts of mercury in the Great Lakes region. The primary results of this initiative have been published in a series of more than 35 scientific papers in the journals Ecotoxicolog and Environmental Pollution and are distilled here for use by decision makers and the public.