Pennsylvania Lake Erie Environmental Forum
Lake Erie and the surrounding watershed play a significant role in the economic vitality, cultural heritage, and overall environmental health of Erie County and the surrounding region. Recognizing this, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection organized the Pennsylvania Lake Erie Environmental Forum (PA LEEF), as a way to provide related environmental and regional information to the public - and to also engage citizens in the process of environmental protection by providing the public with the opportunity to share local insights, information, and opinion.
The forums are open to the public, and feature topics like water quality, stormwater, scientific studies and research, policy issues, energy, agriculture, tributary and watershed updates, and larger-scale policies affecting all of the Great Lakes. Details about upcoming and past forums are highlighted below.
ARCHIVED MEETING DETAILS
October 29, 2019 - "Understanding Water Levels of the Great Lakes”
On October 29, 2019 the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Pennsylvania Sea Grant hosted the fall 2019 Pennsylvania Lake Erie Environmental Forum (PA LEEF), at the Tom Ridge Education Center in Erie, PA. Presentations and discussions focused on the timely issue of water levels in Lake Erie and all Great Lakes.
High Lake Levels - Understanding Great Lakes Water Levels and the Impacts of Climate on Our System, Dr. Drew Gronewold, University of Michigan
High Lake Level Impacts in PA - Great Lakes Water Levels and Pennsylvania Coastal Impacts and Concerns, Donald J. Benczkowski, PA DEP Coastal Resource Management Program
Community and Coastal Resiliency - Coastal and Community Resiliency Planning, Dr. Richard Norton, University of Michigan
Upcoming Erie Resilience Study, Preparing Erie, PA for Extreme Weather – What to do and Where to Start, Joy Knapp, Community Resilience Action Network of Erie (CRANE)
Lake Erie Updates, Tim Bruno, Chief, Great Lakes Office, PA DEP
March 2019 - Agenda
"Invasive Species in the Great Lakes from the Front Lines"
On Tuesday, March 19, 2019 the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Pennsylvania Sea Grant hosted the spring 2019 Pennsylvania Lake Erie Environmental Forum (PA LEEF), at the Tom Ridge Education Center in Erie, PA. The discussions focused around the topic "Invasive Species in the Great Lakes from the Front Lines." Featured speakers included PA DEP Great Lakes Biologist, Dr. Jim Grazio, whose presentation focused on early detection of aquatic invasive species, Pennsylvania Sea Grant's Extension Leader, Sara Stahlman, whose presentation focused on responding to aquatic invasive species introductions in PA, Regional Science Consortium Executive Director, Dr. Jeanette Schnars, who focused on harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, and PA DEP Great Lakes Office Chief, Tim Bruno, who provided a round-up of Great Lakes related activities and issues.
- Early Detection of Aquatic Invasive Species, Dr. Jim Grazio, Great Lakes Biologist, PA DEP
- Responding to Aquatic Invasive Species Introductions in PA, Sara Stahlman, Extension Leader, PA Sea Grant
- Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie, Jeanette Schnars, Ph.D., Executive Director, Regional Science Consortium
- Great Lakes Round Up, Tim Bruno, Chief, Great Lakes Office, PA DEP
On Tuesday, October 23, 2018 the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Pennsylvania Sea Grant hosted the fall 2018 Pennsylvania Lake Erie Environmental Forum (PA LEEF). Featured speakers included Penn State Behrend researcher, Dr. Anthony Foyle, who discussed “Coastal Bluff Erosion” and his work to increase the knowledge of Lake Erie bluff erosion, Pennsylvania Sea Grant's Research Director, Dr. Sean Rafferty, presented the PA Great lakes Water & Land Technical Resources Website & Web Mapping Application, Pennsylvania Sea Grant's Marti Martz and Anna McCartney led presentations and discussions about plastic pollution in our waters, Jill Bartolotta and Sue Bixler of Ohio Sea Grant examined the impacts of plastic pollution on our waters, the social science behind consumer behavior, and a regional opportunity to collaborate on a plastics outreach campaign, and Tim Bruno, Chief of the DEP Great Lakes Office provided updates on rulemaking regarding the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Waterway, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and the Pennsylvania State Water Plan.
- Coastal Bluff Erosion - Presented by Penn State Behrend researcher, Dr. Anthony Foyle
- PA Great Lakes Water & Land Technical Resources Website & Web Mapping Application - Presented by PA Sea Grant's Sean Rafferty
- The Enduring Impacts of Plastic - Presented by PA Sea Grant's Marti Martz and Anna McCartney
- Partners in Plastic Reduction - Presented by Ohio Sea Grant's Jill Bartolotta and Sue Bixler
- Great Lakes Updates - Presented by PA Department of Environmental Protection's Great Lakes Office Chief, Tim Bruno
This first meeting of 2018 provided updates on the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and presentations on clean water infrastructure and asset management and inter-governmental cooperation.
View PowerPoint Presentations:
• Asset Management & Inter-governmental Cooperation in Pennsylvania
Presented by Christine Weigle, Executive Director Lycoming County Water & Sewer Authority
• Joint Action Plan for Clean Water Infrastructure and Services in the Great Lakes Region
A product of the Great Lakes Commission Clean Water Infrastructure and Services Working Group Presented by Victoria Pebbles, Program Director
PA DEP Updates:
• Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Update
Presented by Tim Bruno, Chief, Great Lakes Office, PA Department of Environmental Protection
The initial meeting of PA LEEF covered a broad set of topics such as water diversion in the Great Lakes; how commissions and organizations Pennsylvania DEP is involved with address environmental issues; how Pennsylvania utilizes funding it receives from federal and state sources; new methods of online interaction with spatial data; projects that evaluate and monitor erosion along Pennsylvania’s shorelines; monitoring of the health of Lake Erie, and current nutrient reduction actions.
- An Introduction to Coastal Science in Pennsylvania- Jake Moore, PA DEP
- Assessing Pennsylvania's Lake Tributaries- Nate Irwin, PA DEP
- Great Lakes Governance: Compacts and Commissions- Tim Bruno, PA DEP
- Great Lakes Integrated Services: Gathering Information, and Maximizing Data and Web Access- Sean Rafferty, Pennsylvania Sea Grant
- The Dead Zone, or... The Role of Nutrients in the Cultural Eutrophication of Lake Erie- Jim Grazio, PA DEP
Status of current drafts of the Pennsylvania Domestic Action Plan to meet Lake Erie phosphorus reduction targets and timelines for implementation. The Special Focus topic will be stormwater management and the roles municipalities play in protecting Lake Erie water quality. Presentations will introduce new methods available to municipalities to sustainably fund stormwater management responsibilities and infrastructure.
- Great Lakes Roundup- Tim Bruno, PA DEP
- Great Lakes Biology Updates- Jim Grazio, PA DEP
- Stormwater Fees? Why and How to Get Started- Steven R. Halmi, P.E., Deiss & Halmi Engineering, Inc.
- Pennsylvania Lake Erie Environmental Forum Meeting- Timothy S. Wachter, Esq., Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C.
This third meeting of PA LEEF covered a broad set of topics such as updates on the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement; the Great Lakes Basin Compact and Agreement; the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Pennsylvania State Water Plan. In addition, DEP staff highlighted upcoming grant opportunities and discussed the Pennsylvania Phosphorous Reduction Domestic Action Plan.
- Great Lakes Roundup- Tim Bruno, PA DEP
- PA VinES~ Sustainable Viticulture Practices for Concord and Niagara Production in the Lake Erie Region- Andy Muza, Penn State Extension
- VinES program- Working with Grape Growers in the Lake Erie Watershed- Tom McClure, Erie County Conservation District
- Energy from AG and Food Processing Waste- Tom Wilson, PE, Wilson Engineering Services, PC
A number of updates were covered including Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement; Great Lakes Basin Compact Agreement; Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Update; and the State Water Plan update.
- Great Lakes Roundup - Tim Bruno, PA DEP
- 2017 E.coli Bacteria & Harmful Algae Bloom Monitoring - Amber Stillwell, Regional Science Consortium
- Small-scale Wastewater Treatment in Erie County - Ron Salisbury & Mike Chizewick, Erie County Dept. of Health