Buoy completes a decade of lake observing science
The Muskegon Lake Observatory buoy (MLO; www.gvsu.edu/buoy/) completed a decade of time-series weather and water quality data acquisition in this Great Lakes estuary in 2020 – delayed, but not defeated by the ongoing pandemic. Muskegon Lake is a model urbanized Great Lakes estuary that is impacted by legacy eutrophication, harmful algal blooms, and bottom water hypoxia, and the MLO serves as a sentinel that monitors water quality improvements during ongoing ecosystem restoration. Here, we are on board NOAA–Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory’s R/V 5501 (buoy tender) retrieving the buoy from the lake after its 10th year of operation, assisted by NOAA crew members Beau Breymer, Todd Roetman, and Dan Burlingame. MLO continues to provide valuable long-term, time-series, open-access data (~10 million as of today) on estuarine ecology in the Great Lakes, allowing us to share observations and discoveries that have relevance to natural waters in inland and coastal zones everywhere that are similarly affected by anthropogenic forces and climate change.
Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University, Muskegon, Michigan, USA.
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