Great Lakes Research Consortium highlights new discoveries in Lake Ontario

OSWEGO, NY — SUNY Oswego is one of the 18 Universities working together in the Research Consortium and has made advancements with the help of small grants.

These grants allowed student and faculty researchers to purchase underwater drones to investigate the wildlife and the condition of Lake Ontario.

“We’re looking at various fish species, various diseases, and those kinds of aspects because they impact not only the ecology and the environment, but also our economy when we talk about the fishery of the great lakes,” Associate Director David White said.

With the help of the drones, researchers discovered deposits of harmful algal blooms in lake Ontario, its bays, and the nearby Finger Lakes. These deposits are known to be toxic to wildlife including fish and birds, as well as people. Larger deposits can be easily identified as thick green clumps throughout bodies of water. 

“It’s an issue that a lot of folks are concerned about,” White said. “The folks that we’ve worked with and funded over the years looking at algal blooms are now part of that team that’s helping communities.”

New members are joining the team during the incoming fall semester, including a Great Lakes’ scientist who can help to take new steps to prevent this issue. The consortium aims to clean up the lakes within the next few years.