Niagara Gazette

Features

May 20, 2013

Underwater craft helps Great Lakes researchers collect shoreline data

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Some of the cause of the algae could be the thermal wall Miller described.

“Much of the management plans for Lake Ontario are driven by offshore water, but if the barrier is severely blocking nutrients from flowing out there, then the management plan will need to change,” Boyer explained about the wall. The experiments will ultimately determine where the wall is and how it actually forms.

The gathered data could indeed lead to new plans for those who wish to wish on the lake. But Boyer said any effect that data has would be felt through education and awareness efforts rather than forced regulations.

He said the education necessary for the public could be as simple as asking waterfront homeowners to hold off on fertilizing their lawns a little longer into spring.

“I think we can all agree we want the lake to look pretty,” Boyer said. “The communities we work with have recognized the tourism value of these lakes and they’ve worked well with us.”

Saturday’s AUV launch was one of roughly 30 that will be done this summer. Another bunch of experiments will take place on boats. Next year, the GLRC will examine similar issues at a different lake in order to maintain its rotating schedule. 

Along with the GLRC and GLOS, New York Sea Grant helped fund the project.

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