Monitoring Algae in Our Lakes

Finding the Balance in Eastern Ontario’s Lake Country Project

The People, Aquatic Plants and Healthy Lakes: Finding the Balance in Eastern Ontario’s Lake Country is a two year project that was created to develop a better understanding about the local causes of algae and aquatic plant growth in Eastern Ontario Lakes and Rivers. Working with academic institutions, community groups and environmental organizations, our hope is use the knowledge gained from the research to develop educational materials and workshops that will educate and promote ways to help reduce the amount of algal blooms and excessive aquatic plants growth.

Be a Citizen Scientist! Get started helping us track algae blooms in the Mississippi watershed using the Algae Finder website.

This project was formed by a collaborative group consisting of: Friends of the Tay Watershed, Carleton University, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. The collaborative group was successful in achieving a two year grant of $149, 500 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. This funding will enable the collaborative to:

  • Conduct research on variables (total phosphorous, zebra mussels and climate change) that may be influencing algae and aquatic plant growth
  • Carry out two workshops a year
  • Create Educational materials
  • Target Stewardship projects
  • Launch an algae and aquatic plant tracking website where waterbody users and report an algal bloom or excessive aquatic plant sighting

Why did it get started? There has been a noticeable increase in the amount of algal blooms and excessive aquatic plant growth on many waterbodies in Eastern Ontario. In 2010 and 2011 a study was conducted to determine what type of algae was blooming on the local lakes. A majority of the samples were found to be filamentous green algae. A conclusion from this study was that future research was needed to help identify possible influences of the increased growth of algal blooms. In 2013, a survey was created to get a better understanding of what waterbody users are noticing on their lake or river and if they would like to see research done. The majority of respondents noted an increase in algae and aquatic plants as well wanting research conducted. After reviewing the survey results, the collaborative group applied for a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and was successful. What will happen after the grant is over? After the completion of the two year project, the collaborative plans to continue and expand research projects that are driven by concerns from the community. Information gathered from the algae and aquatic plant sighting website will also continue to be monitored and will be helpful in ongoing research. Who can tell me more about the project? For more information about the People, Aquatic Plants and Healthy Lakes project in general contact Kaitlin BradyProject Coordinator 613.692.3571 ext. 1154 For Mississippi River watershed specific questions contact MVCA Aquatic Biologist Kelly Stiles at 613.253.0006 ext. 234.   This project is made possible by the Ontario Trillium Foundation  Description: C:\Users\kbrady.RVCA\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Word\OTFVERTcolour.jpg

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