Lake Erie Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Science Working Group

What is the LEHABS Science Working Group? 

While the WQ Task Force's primary efforts will focus on the broader planning process to produce a comprehensive and integrated CFAES Ohio WQ Initiative, we recognized that there are pressing concerns related to addressing HABS in Lake Erie that require immediate attention. As the larger WQI planning process proceeds, we are also coordinating a parallel effort designed to gather scientists working on this topic at CFAES and develop materials to better coordinate our efforts and to increase the visibility and impact of our current research and outreach efforts on external audiences.

Who's involved?



  • Convene CFAES research and outreach faculty and staff working on LEHABs
  • Summarize current scientific knowledge and key information gaps about the drivers, consequences, & effectiveness of BMPs to reduce nutrient/ sediment loads. 
  • Capture diverse scientific perspectives and work to identify areas of general consensus, ongoing debate, and information gaps
  • Develop communications materials focused on CFAES science on LEHABS

Activities & Outlook

With a focus on research and outreach programs led by CFAES faculty, we are working to produce an overview, synthesis document of current scientific knowledge and key information gaps about the drivers, consequences, and effectiveness of BMPs to reduce nutrient & sediment loads associated with hypoxia and HABs in Lake Erie. 

Our starting point is a 2017 white paper by faculty from OSU and other institutions entitled "Summary of Findings and Strategies to Move Toward a 40% Phosphorus Reduction".  The LEHABS working group members are identifying additional research and extension work that can add depth and breadth to that white paper.

Timeline: Convened at the end of March 2018, the LEHABs working group is meeting regularly through the spring / summer months with a goal of having a draft overview document by the end of summer / early fall semester.  

The LEHABS scientific working group also represents a potential model for future science working groups that could be convened under the CFAES WQI to help synthesize the diverse work of scientists working on different water quality topics.