Year 1 — Throughout the first project year, research conducted in all three project components focused on gathering current and historical data and calibrating models.
Year 2 — During the second project year, the team began running ecological simulations, active forecasting and load and nutrient estimates with data gathered from the first year research and other component areas.
Year 3 — In the third project year, additional forecasting and model comparisons were run as well as assessments on nutrient uses and land management practices. Much of the work in this phase continued into years 4 and 5.
Year 4 — Simulations for ecological modeling commenced in the fourth year. Prior work continued.
Year 5 — Ecological models were analyzed. Overall findings were interpreted and linked to a suite of management options for alleviating lake hypoxia and maintaining integrity of the lake ecosystem and resident species, especially fish stock.
National Ecological Forecasting Program
The Lake Erie EcoFore project is part of a NOAA initiative to provide decision makers with high-quality scientific information and predictive tools that provide the underpinnings for ecosystem-based management in coastal regions.
In much the same way a weather forecast or economic forecast can help society plan for future contingencies, an ecological forecasting capability is necessary for environmental managers to make informed decisions regarding alternative management scenarios. Ecological forecasts can lead to better decision-making, better communication between scientists and managers, and help to set science priorities for the future.