1.3.4. Great Lakes
Type of resources
Contact for the resource
Water quality and ecosystem health data collected using a risk-based monitoring approach to support the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement are included in this dataset. By conducting regular, systematic measurements of the physical, chemical and biological conditions of the Great Lakes Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is able to: measure the natural changes and conditions of water quality; determine changes over time, at various locations, of water contaminants and/or threats; support development of science-based guidelines for water, fish, and sediment; identify emerging issues and threats; track the results of remedial measures and regulatory decisions; report and assess science results through performance indicators and in an Open Science environment to support an ecosystem approach to environmental and resource management in the Great Lakes. Data are collected by Environment and Climate Change Canada to meet federal commitments related to the Great Lakes as transboundary waters crossing, inter- provincial and international borders under the authorities of the Department of the Environment Act, the Canada Water Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and the Boundary Waters Treaty including the commitments under the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
The Great Lakes Basin Integrated Nutrient Dataset compiles and standardizes phosphorus, nitrogen, and suspended solids data collected between the 2000-2019 water years from multiple Canadian and American sources around the Great Lakes. Ultimately, the goal is to enable regional nutrient data analysis within the Great Lakes Basin. This data is not directly used in the Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance Division tributary load calculations. Data processing steps include standardizing data column and nutrient names, date-time conversion to Universal Time Coordinates, normalizing concentration units to milligram per liter, and reporting all phosphorus and nitrogen compounds 'as phosphorus' or 'as nitrogen'. Data sources include the Environment and Climate Change Canada National Long-term Water Quality Monitoring Data (WQMS), the Provincial (Stream) Water Quality Monitoring Network (PWQMN) of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) water quality data, and Heidelberg University’s National Center for Water Quality Research (NCWQR) Tributary Loading Program.
Hamilton Harbour is located at the west end of Lake Ontario. It was designated as one of 43 Areas of Concern in 1987 under the GLWQA where 11 beneficial uses of the harbour were deemed impaired. One of the primary recommendations of the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan was to decrease nutrient loads to Hamilton Harbour and establish water quality targets to decrease undesirable algae and improve water clarity. This long term data set consists of spatial and temporal water quality data collected in Hamilton Harbour since 1987 to measure ecological response of remedial efforts.
The coast of South-Eastern Georgian Bay has numerous bays and inlets. This area is an important resource for drinking water, recreation and fish habitat. While offshore water quality of Georgian Bay is not impaired, nearshore embayments and inlets, in some instances, have been reported to experience water quality degradation. Concerns include excess nutrients, increased frequency of cyanobacteria blooms and hypoxia. The Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund was expanded in 2012 to include the South East shore of Georgian Bay. This mandate allowed for researchers to assess water quality and nuisance and toxic algal blooms within a geographical scope from the Nottawassaga Valley Watershed to the coast of Georgian Bay between Port Severn and the French River. The program was completed in 2017. Lake Simcoe is the fourth largest lake entirely in Ontario. It is part of the Trent Severn Waterway connecting Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario where tourism generates more than $200 million per year. In 2007-2012 the Lake Simcoe Cleanup Fund was created to address the increased phosphorus loading from point and non-point sources, research and monitoring to improve environmental information for decision making and conservation of fish and aquatic wildlife habitat. Collaborative research between a number of government and non-government stakeholders have contributed to monitoring, research and management of Lake Simcoe to ensure long term ecosystem health of this valuable resource.
Azo dyes are synthetic compounds used as industrial colorants, and some are predicted to be inherently toxic, bioaccumulative, and/or persistent based upon their chemical composition. This study addressed data gaps in current research which included the need to evaluate the toxicity of hydrophobic azo dyes to benthic invertebrates. The toxicity of a solvent dye, Sudan Red G (SRG), and two disperse dyes, Disperse Yellow 7 (DY7) and Disperse Orange 13 (DO13), to Hexagenia spp. and Tubifex tubifex was assessed in spiked-sediment exposures. The dye compounds appeared to degrade readily in the equilibrium and exposure periods, suggesting a limited persistence of the parent compounds in the environment under test conditions.Although azo dye degradation products could not be reliably quantified, one was detected in DY7 sediment samples that elicited toxic effects to Hexagenia and Tubifex, providing evidence that DY7 degrades. Hexagenia survival and growth endpoints responded with similar sensitivity to the dyes, but DY7 was the most toxic, with a 21-day IC25 (concentration associated with 25% inhibition) for growth of 9.6 μg/g. Comparatively, Tubifex reproduction was the most sensitive endpoint for all dyes with 28-day IC25s for young production ranging from 1.3 to 11.8 μg/g. At sublethal concentrations, toxic effects to Tubifex differed between dyes: the solvent dye exerted an effect primarily on gametogenesis (cocoon production), while disperse dyes, most notably DY7, caused effects on embryogenesis(development of worm inside the cocoon). This study indicated that there could be potential hazard to oligochaetes based on the observed effect concentrations, but given the lack of environmental measurements, the risk of these compounds is unknown. Further research is required to determine if degradation products were formed in all dye samples and whether toxicity was caused by the parent molecules, which have limited persistence under test conditions, or by their degradation products. To avoid underestimating toxicity, this study stresses the need to use an infaunal deposit feeder such as the oligochaete Tubifex in sediment toxicity assessments where highly hydrophobic compounds are present.
This dataset contains the fish health metrics (length, weight, gonad size, etc.) for White Sucker (Catostomus commersonii) collected from three site locations (Kaministiquia river, Kaministiquia river downstream and Little Gravel river used as a reference site) within the Thunder Bay Area of Concern for 2007.
The Bay of Quinte is a long and narrow "Z" shaped inlet located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. The bay and the surrounding drainage basin were listed as an Area of Concern in 1987 under the GLWQA as 10 of the 14 beneficial use indicators of ecosystem health were deemed impaired. Excess nutrient runoff from agricultural lands, wastewater treatment plants and storm water contributed to extensive algae growth; one of the biggest challenges of the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan was the management of phosphorus loads into the watershed. The goal of this project is to determine the effect of extreme rain events versus base flow on the nutrient levels for two tributaries flowing into the Bay of Quinte. Water quality data and water movement data will contribute towards a knowledge base for evaluating the status of and delisting Bay of Quinte as an Area of Concern, as well as provide a measure of the ecological response to remedial efforts. The data are phosphorus concentrations at the Bay of Quinte (Ontario) for 10 stations from 2015 to 2018.
This dataset contains the fish health metrics (length, weight, gonad size, etc.) for Shorthead redhorse (Moxostoma macrolepidotum) and Golden redhorse (Moxostoma erythrurum) collected from two site locations (Stag Island, and Lake Huron) within the St. Clair River Area of Concern for 2003 .
This dataset contains the fish health metrics (length, weight, gonad size, etc.) for Brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) collected from three site locations (Queenston, Point Abino, and Black Creek) within the Niagara River Area of Concern for 2004 and 2008.
This dataset contains the fish health metrics (length, weight, gonad size, etc.) for Brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) collected from three site locations (Frenchman's Bay, Toronto Island and Tommy Thompson) within the Toronto and Region Area of Concern for 2003 and 2006.