Blue Accounting’s ErieStat releases new data on efforts to reduce phosphorus entering Lake Erie
Ann Arbor, Mich. – The Great Lakes Commission, in coordination with state and federal agency partners, has released new data and information on Blue Accounting’s ErieStat. ErieStat provides an information hub that tracks progress toward a healthier Lake Erie. The new data tracks phosphorus runoff into Lake Erie between 2017 and 2018 and demonstrates the relationship between heavy rainfall and increased phosphorus levels in the lake. The information hub also links to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts on projected algal bloom severity and includes more information on what governments are doing to help.
“ErieStat continues to show that Blue Accounting is the right tool to bring governments and stakeholders together answering tough Great Lakes questions by sharing data, spurring innovation, and holding ourselves accountable as we work together to protect our Great Lakes,” said John Linc Stine, chair of the Great Lakes Commission and executive director of the Minnesota-based Freshwater. “This new release of data will allow the states, provinces, both federal governments and our private, nonprofit and educational partners to better track how Lake Erie is doing.”
Bruno Pigott, commissioner of Indiana’s Department of Environmental Management, has been an early champion of ErieStat. He notes, “ErieStat makes it easy for me to check on how we’re doing in Indiana, and also to look beyond our borders to quickly scan for good ideas being tested in other Lake Erie states or Ontario.”
Joy Mulinex, executive director of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission, added: “Several Ohio agencies have contributed to ErieStat. We are working hard with our Ohio partners to find the strategies and investments to improve the health of Ohio’s Great Lake and protect our coastal economy. ErieStat allows us to show our progress not only to Ohioans, but everyone that cares about efforts to restore and protect Lake Erie.”
Phosphorus is an important nutrient for agriculture but excess phosphorous in Lake Erie drives seasonal harmful algal blooms and dead zones that affect the health of the lake’s ecosystem and impact local businesses that depend on a healthy Lake Erie. In 2016, federal, state and provincial governments agreed to reduce phosphorus contributions to the lake. ErieStat tracks progress toward that shared goal on its Progress page, as well as specific Strategies and Investments undertaken by the governments to control phosphorus.
ErieStat is part of Blue Accounting, which translates shared data into relevant information for decision-makers to understand how investments and actions impact the Great Lakes Basin. The Great Lakes Commission and The Nature Conservancy co-lead Blue Accounting, in partnership with federal, state, provincial, local and private sector organizations. Blue Accounting receives funding support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.
The Great Lakes Commission, led by chair John Linc Stine, former commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, is an interstate compact agency established under state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region and its residents. The Commission consists of governors’ appointees, state legislators, and agency officials from its eight member states. Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.” The Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission office is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Learn more at www.glc.org.