Lake Erie Services Assessment

Early in 2018, Key-Log Economics LLC conducted a Lake Erie Ecosystem Services Assessment. It was phase 1 of a two-phase project.

Phase I Findings:

  • Much research and funding have been directed to the Great Lakes region as a whole, with resulting studies providing a wealth of baseline data about many of the ecosystem services important to, and at risk in the region.
  • For Lake Erie, the focus has been on environmental issues present in the Western basin; few studies have included or focused on the central and eastern portions of Lake Erie.
  • Many important ecosystem services in Lake Erie have not been thoroughly examined, leaving important facets of human well-being out of the accounting.
  • Many studies document the level at which Lake Erie provides various ecosystem services, but few connect potential changes in land and resource management to the maintenance and improvement of key ecosystem service values. They have not, in other words, describe how benefits flow from natural systems to humans.

At the end of 2018, Key-Log Economics LLC concluded Phase II of the Lake Erie Ecosystem Services Assessment. Results are pending.

Phase II Findings:

The goal in phase 2 is to fill some of the critical gaps and provide stakeholders and decision-makers with information that enables careful consideration of actions to protect and enhance all of Lake Erie’s capacity to provide ecosystem services into the future.

  • Geographic scope includes all of Lake Erie, the Western, Central, and eastern basins as well as the watersheds the drain to the lake
  • impacts covered include key services underrepresented in previous research, including: economic and public health impacts of degradation of residential and commercial/industrial water quality; effects of water quality on recreational and commercial fisheries; and impacts of HABs on beach visitation, resulting changes in visitor spending, and resulting loss of revenue for local businesses.
  • Deliverables include substantial, scientifically sound technical information presented to ensure the information is assessable and useful to the general public, resource managers, indecision-makers.

We expect the results of this study to be published soon.  Funding for the study was provided by Lucas County, the city of Toledo, in the city of Oregon.