to reduce bird die-offs
Scientists have established a water-quality monitoring program in an effort to reduce Type E botulism outbreaks that have killed thousands of birds in recent years at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Quagga mussels that invaded the Great Lakes in the 1990s have fueled massive algae blooms, which contributed to outbreaks of Type E botulism that have killed more than 80,000 shore birds since 1990. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, where the federally endangered piping plover nests, has been among the hardest hit areas. Scientists are studying what triggers the botulism outbreaks in an effort to reduce bird die-offs in the future.
Resource Challenges Addressed
- Invasive species
- Poor water quality
- Fish contaminated
- Botulism outbreaks that kill shorebirds
SAVING GREAT LAKES SHOREBIRDS
Location: Empire, Mich.
Approximate cost: $2,100,000, $1,900,000 of which was funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Key partners: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Common Coast, Michigan Tech University, Northern Michigan University, Northwestern Michigan College, Science Museum of Minnesota, U.S. Geological Survey, National Park Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Types of jobs created: Biologists, toxicologists, science technicians, boat captains and deckhands, hydrographic survey technicians and university research assistants
Results and Accomplishments
Scientists have established a comprehensive water quality monitoring station and mapped coastal areas at Sleeping Bear Dunes where Type E botulism outbreaks are likely to occur. The research is aimed at improving water quality and reducing bird die-offs.