Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s Great Lakes Acidification Study
The Great Lakes have not been studied like some marine biologists are hoping. That’s why those at NOAA are in the midst of a two year ocean acidification program.
They are partnered with their great lakes environmental research lab in order to learn more about the acidification of the freshwater Great Lakes.
“pH levels have been recorded for decades in the Great Lakes, but not necessarily studied specifically for how they are possibly changing due to changing temperatures on our planet,” said Stephanie Gandulla of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The marine sanctuary is always looking for ways to facilitate ecological research in their waters, and felt this was a good way to learn new information about a previously untouched area of study.
“Even though we were designated to protect hundreds of shipwrecks, we also really are protecting the waters by encouraging research of all kinds to come and explore,” said Gandulla.
Later this year, there will be on–water sampling of Lake Huron on the glass bottom boat Lady Michigan and divers will collect samples as well. They are also incorporating the community into the science.
“Our team will be going out on the glass bottom boat, The Lady Michigan on a regular basis to deploy sampling gear and takes samples, and then also share what they’re finding, and talk about the project with the public,” said Gandulla.
The goal is to get a baseline understanding for where the lakes are now in terms of acidification, so they can study them for years in the future.