Category: Healthy Waters

A Survey of Sportfish for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) – An Emerging Contaminant in the Great Lakes

  • Determine the concentrations and speciation of PFAS in important Lake Michigan sportfish
  • Evaluate dietary routes for PFAS exposure from prey to predator fish using δ15N and δ13C stable isotopes along with PFAS speciation
  • Assess the relationship between total fluorine and PFAS concentrations to determine the full extent of the PFAS problem
  • Compare observed PFAS concentrations in fish from Illinois-Indiana waters to other areas such as inland Michigan waterways where PFAS are known to be a problem

An Investigation of Microplastics as a Carrier for Perfluorinated Compounds into Great Lakes Food Webs

This project aims to investigate the potential role of marine plastic debris as a vector for Perfluorinated Compounds (PFAS). Specific research questions are:

  • To what extent do three common plastic types found in the environment act as a sink for select PFASs in Muskegon Lake?
  • How important is the residence time of the materials present in these water bodies concerning the extent of PFAS accumulation?


Application of Automated Remote Sensing and Deep Learning to Small Reservoir Identification and Water Quality Modeling in Lake Michigan Watersheds

The overarching goal of this graduate student scholars project is to better evaluate the effects of small dams and reservoirs on changing the flow of nutrients to downstream water bodies and water quality across Lake Michigan Watersheds. There are two primary objectives associated with this goal: (1). Small reservoir identification through a combination of remote-sensing and deep-learning approaches and reservoir dataset development with associated information (reservoir location, surface area, storage volume, catchment drainage area, and residence time). 2). Using hydrologic modelling and USGS water quality data collected above and below reservoirs to quantify the spatially and temporally varying effects of small reservoirs on water quality (nutrient runoff and retention). This proposed research is of pressing concern due to increased release of legacy contaminants to surface and groundwater around Lake Michigan.


Assessment of Bacterial and Viral Contamination in Burns Ditch and Lake Water in Northwest Indiana

The objectives of this study are to:

  • Study the sources and contamination levels of enteric bacteria and viruses in Burns Ditch, one of the most polluted streams that flow into Lake Michigan in Northwest Indiana.
  • Determine the impact of the pollution of Burns Ditch on the microbial quality of lake front water off West Beach, located three kilometers west of the water outfall.
  • Use a molecular approach to detect viruses in stream and lake waters.
  • Use a computer-based image analysis system to determine the quantity of viruses in water samples.

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