EVALUATING THE DEGRADATION OF PHYTOPLANKTON AND ZOOPLANKTON POPULATIONS BENEFICIAL USE IMPAIRMENT (BUI) AT THE WAUKEGAN HARBOR AREA OF CONCERN (AOC)
Several decades of industrial contamination at Waukegan Harbor in Lake Michigan led to its listing as a Great Lakes Area of Concern (AOC). After extensive remediation efforts, evaluations are underway toward the removal of six Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) to delist Waukegan Harbor as an AOC. To address the "Degradation of Phytoplankton and Zooplankton Populations" BUI, we collected semi-monthly samples in 2017 and compared plankton communities from the Waukegan Harbor AOC to a nearby reference site, North Point Marina, and nearshore lake locations outside of each harbor. We found plankton communities between the AOC and reference site were most similar during summer months, but species composition shifted in September, resulting in divergent assemblages within and between sites. Comparable levels of dissimilarity were detected between harbors and respective nearshore locations, indicating a patchy distribution. Dissimilarities among zooplankton communities were largely driven by the presence of dreissenid veligers and rotifer taxa composition. Due to seasonal variation and patchy distribution of plankton, we suggest that plankton communities should be frequently assessed over multiple seasons and years to ensure effective statistical evaluation toward the potential delisting of this BUI category.
Scot Peterson (Primary Presenter/Author), Illinois Natural History Survey- Lake Michigan Biological Station, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Emily Reed (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Illinois Natural History Survey- Lake Michigan Biological Station, email@example.com;
Sergiusz Czesny (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Illinois Natural History Survey- Lake Michigan Biological Station, firstname.lastname@example.org;