This project will explore the nutrient inflows and outflows of the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary, and culminate in on-the-ground management activities that seek to reverse the eutrophication of this critical natural and cultural resource. The 500-acre Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary is plagued by invasive aquatic plants, principally Eurasian Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum). Additionally, several high-value sections of the Sanctuary are experiencing significant growth of native aquatic plants as well as floating algae. These explosions of plant growth form impenetrable mats that have altered the ecological and recreational value of the Sanctuary. It is suspected that this explosion of growth is related to inflows of Phosphorous, but currently there is no data to support this hypothesis. Similarly, there is a question as to how nutrient flow in and out of the Sanctuary via the Thunder Bay River watershed is affecting fish populations in Lake Huron. Are Dressensa muscles and other invasive species influencing this system? If so, where and how?
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