Great Lakes Protection Fund Large Grants 99-00
Between the years 1999 and 2000, ten projects totaling $560,126 were selected to receive grants under the Great Lakes Protection Fund.
- Sea Grant at SUNY Buffalo received a grant for $17,530 entitled Enlightening Educators about the LaMPS. Teaching aides and training for educators in coastal communities bordering both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario were enhanced through this initiative. The project taught teachers about the problems facing the Great Lakes and helped increase their awareness of what they, their students, and their peers can do to support the priorities of the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) and restore the ecological health of the ecosystem. The project involved multiple educational outreach activities including the development of a Lake Erie and Lake Ontario LaMP educational compendium, creation of a CD-ROM presentation on LaMPs for teachers, and presentation of a series of training workshops for teachers, non-formal educators, and stakeholders. Project details are available in the Enlightening Educators about the LaMPs Final Report (PDF 329 kb).
- SUNY Buffalo received a grant for $84,961 entitled Use of a Reporter Gene Bioassay to Screen for Dioxin-like Compounds in the Great Lakes. The goals of this two-year project were to obtain organic extractions from fish and wildlife collected from Lake Ontario and its basin along with sediment samples from the St. Lawrence River and utilize an exceptionally sensitive analytical tool known as a reporter gene bioassay system to quantify total dioxin toxic equivalents in organic extracts of these samples and to compare the bioassay derived results with the analytical chemical data in the samples analyzed. This project was designed to complement the DEC's current contaminant monitoring programs, especially the Lake Ontario Contaminant Trend Analysis program. As a screening tool, the bioassay system provides a measure of dioxin-like activity and thus identify samples of concern that need more comprehensive chemical analysis and further investigation.
- SUNY ESF received a grant for $99,729 entitled Predicting the Natural Production Potential of Salmonides in Lake Ontario Tributaries. This project developed a model that fisheries managers can use to assess the salmon and trout production potential of Lake Ontario's tributaries. Project researchers synthesized existing tributary information (i.e.: geology, land use, catchment areas, habitat, fish passage, water quality, and fish community) through GIS software, and used bioenergetics and habitat suitability to predict tributary production potential. Their model will be complemented by ongoing studies conducted by DEC and the United States Geological Survey on egg survival, niche overlap, and fish movements. This project also provided an estimation of the potential contribution of wild or naturalized stocks based on geographic information, changing weather and different habitat improvement scenarios, and also evaluated the feasibility of rehabilitating Atlantic salmon.
- SUNY Brockport received a grant for $76,786 entitled Measuring RAP Progress in the Rochester Embayment of Lake Ontario: Determining Baseline Levels of Bioaccumulative Chemicals of Concern in Air, Water, Sediment, and Sentinel Species. The Rochester Embayment Remedial Action Plan (RAP) identified the fish and wildlife consumption advisories as a use impairment in the Area of Concern (AOC). Many of the species on the consumption advisory list are salmon and trout that accumulate body burdens of persistent toxic chemicals as they move and feed in Lake Ontario. The results of this study provided information regarding the baseline levels of these substances in air, water, sediment, and resident sentinel species.
- The Oswego County Environmental Management Council received a grant for $45,858 entitled Lake Ontario Coastal Wetlands Biodiversity Inventory- Oswego Co. Biological diversity research was conducted to identify rare, endangered and threatened species, and ecological communities in shoreline wetlands of Lake Ontario in Oswego County. Goals included providing the County Environmental Management Council and other partners with accurate information on uncommon animals, plants and rare or exemplary ecological communities in the wetlands along the Lake Ontario shoreline. The project also produced scale maps of surveyed areas showing boundaries of all ecological communities identified. The Lake Ontario coastal wetlands will use the findings and recommendations to prioritize those areas needing additional protection. This information will be important for future planning and direction in this ecological area of Lake Ontario. Project details are available in the Oswego County Coastal Wetlands Final Report (PDF 9,427 kb).
- SUNY ESF received a grant for $53,436 entitled Use of Spawning Marshes in Rehabilitation of St. Lawrence Northern Pike and Muskellunge Populations. This project evaluated the effect of habitat restoration on northern pike and muskellunge reproductive success, and was needed due to the economic, ecological and scientific importance of the species. Northern pike and muskellunge populations in the St. Lawrence are self-sustaining and endemic, although both have suffered a decline in population locally and throughout their native North American ranges. Both species depend upon coastal wetlands, bays and tributaries to fulfill early life stages of spawning and nursery. Project results are guiding restoration efforts to enhance populations of these important native species.
- SUNY Oswego received a grant for $99,956 entitled Contaminant Degradation in Contained Disposal Facilities. The goal of this study was to optimize the processes and conditions enhancing the degradation of persistent organic contaminants deposited in confined disposal facilities (CDFs). The project was designed to provide information on the potential for using CDFs as reactor systems that are designed, constructed and operated to effectively degrade rather than to simply contain contaminants. Results from this project are being used to design and conduct larger scale field demonstrations of the application of active degradation processes in CDFs.
- New York Sea Grant at SUNY Buffalo received a grant for $14,981 entitled Great Lakes Erosion Processes and Control Education Materials and Web Site Enhancement. Coastal decision makers such as shoreline property owners, marina owners, government officials, resource managers, environmental groups and others have expressed a need for current, dependable and accurate information on lake level fluctuations, shoreline processes (erosion, deposition, and flooding) erosion mitigation and remediation technologies. This project enabled NY Sea Grant to update its coastal processes and erosion control educational materials and to place easily accessible versions of these materials on its' Great Lakes web site.
- New York Sea Grant at Cornell University received a grant for $16,889 entitled The Lake Ontario Salmon Training Initiative. Research-based information was collected to develop an extension and outreach program for fisheries managers, sport fishing stakeholders and the general public to help disseminate information and assess angler attitudes about Lake Ontario fisheries issues. A series of introductory workshops were held around the Lake Ontario basin to summarize ecosystem trends in the lake, present the results of recent studies, and explain how research could be used to revise fisheries management strategies. A cooperative sampling program and a web site will also be developed.
- The Central and Western New York chapter of the Nature Conservancy received a grant for $50,000 entitled A Biological Inventory of the Gorges and Streams of Lake Erie. This project developed and disseminated biological information on water courses in the Lake Erie basin. Waterbodies evaluated as part of the project included Twenty-mile Creek, Belson Creek, Chautauqua Creek, Little Chautauqua Creek, Little Canadaway Creek, Canadaway Creek, Cattaraugus Creek, Big Sister Creek, Little Sister Creek, Eighteen-mile Creek, Cazenovia Creek, and the Buffalo River. Project information gathered will identify, collect, and refine data on significant natural areas and aquatic habitats in the Lake Erie gorges, as well as provide an ecosystem-level understanding of each gorge and watershed through documentation of each system's rare and important natural communities.