Western Lake Erie 1st Report Card
About one-third of the total population of the Great Lakes Basin lives within the Lake Erie Watershed. The lake provides drinking water for 11 million residents and is home to one of the largest freshwater commercial and recreational fisheries in the world. The lake and surrounding areas provide many recreational opportunities, such as camping, kayaking, boating, hiking, birding, and fishing, and are vital to the economy of the region.
Overall the Western Lake Erie watershed and basin were found to be in moderate condition in 2018 with a mix of good and poor scores throughout the region. Ecosystem health is largely driven by harmful algal blooms, a significant problem which plagues Western Lake Erie. 2018 was an unusual year, with an early bloom onset and strong westerly winds that resulted in the bloom being pushed offshore into the eastern islands (Bass Islands) region.