Latitude: 44.9817 (44°58’54.1″N)
Longitude: -85.8307 (85°49’50.5″W)
This site is located in the nearshore waters of Lake Michigan in the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. Monitoring and research are being conducted in collaboration with the US National Park Service, with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The site lies within Good Harbor Bay, 4.25 km offshore at 10 meters of water. Surrounding substrate consists of a mix of small rock/cobble and sand (below).
In addition to the deployment of in situ monitoring instruments, samples are regularly collected from this site for the measurement of nutrients, Cladophora biomass and Cladophora tissue P content, round goby abundance, quagga mussel abundance and size distribution, and the abundance of other benthic invertebrates.
The information collected at this site is enabling a better understanding of the causes of avian botulism outbreaks, which occur regularly in this part of Lake Michigan. When combined with dead bird counts from beaches in the region, this is leading to an improved ability to predict the severity of bird deaths due to avian botulism in a given year. In addition, the long-term data set is revealing how the invasive round goby is changing the nearshore community structure.
In order to collect sufficient amounts of data at regular intervals, this monitoring program relies heavily on the participation of volunteer scientists, who help with both lake sampling and dead bird counts. Much of the volunteer work is supported by the National Parks Conservation Association.