Lake Ontario Lakewide Action Management Plan (LAMP)
The Lake Ontario Lakewide Action and Management Plan (LAMP) is a binational plan to protect and restore the health of Lake Ontario by addressing the chemical, biological and physical stressors affecting the lake. Both the Niagara River and St. Lawrence River are included in the scope of the Lake Ontario LAMP.
The Lake Ontario LAMP is led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environment Canada, DEC, and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. The LAMP guides the activities of these and other U.S. and Canadian federal, state, provincial, and tribal agencies by establishing ecosystem goals, objectives and indicators.
Major Issues Affecting Lake Ontario
There are several major issues affecting the health of Lake Ontario that the LAMP partners are working to address:
- Degradation of the lower food chain
- Loss of biodiversity
- Fish consumption restrictions
- Aquatic invasive species
- Nearshore water quality
Lake Ontario Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI)
Each year, U.S. and Canadian organizations assess one of the Great Lakes as part of the Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI). Information collected during CSMI assessments supports Great Lakes management programs.
CSMI assessments took place in Lake Ontario in 2003, 2008 and 2013. The 2013 assessment focused on improving the understanding of nutrient loading, transport and cycling in Lake Ontario. The five primary research areas were:
The information collected in 2013 will inform management and research priorities such as nutrient loading and management; the role of invasive species; identifying energy pathways between offshore and nearshore habitats; and the ability of the lake to sustain its fisheries.
Lake Ontario CSMI Results
Collaboration is Key to the Success of CSMI
CSMI assessments require collaboration by many organizations. In total, 17 organizations contributed to Lake Ontario's 2013 CSMI assessment: DEC, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environment Canada, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Fisheries & Oceans Canada, U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Cornell University, University of Windsor, SUNY Buffalo State, University of Michigan, University at Buffalo -- SUNY, SUNY Brockport, Syracuse University, Bowling Green State University, Clarkson University, and University of Notre Dame.
- amount of phosphorus and nitrogen entering the lake and how these nutrients move through the food web
- biological connections between nearshore and offshore areas of the lake
- phytoplankton and zooplankton population dynamics and use of nutrients in the lower food web
- fish population changes, diets and distribution in different areas of the lake
- transfer of nutrients and energy through the food web of the lake