Mona Lake CMI Project - Introduction
Mona Lake is a drowned river mouth lake, located in Muskegon County, which drains directly into Lake Michigan. The lake faces some serious water quality challenges, including: severe chemical and biological degradation, contaminated sediments, high phosphorus loading, and nuisance algal blooms.
The phosphorus that helps fuel the algal bloom can come from both the watershed (via tributaries and atmospheric deposition) and the lake sediments. The latter process, often referred to as internal loading, is recognized as potentially important in nutrient-rich lakes, but is much less frequently measured than phosphorus sources from the watershed.
The results from this study will be used to promote water quality in the Mona Lake Watershed in the following ways:
- Complement the preliminary assessment funded by the Mott Foundation, leveraging those dollars to get a more detailed assessment of pollutants in the watershed
- Evaluate the relative sources of phosphorus to Mona Lake (external vs. internal loading)
- Provide current baseline information that will be utilized directly by local stakeholders and the watershed council to develop a watershed management plan
In addition to providing data for local decision making, the proposed project will utilize a methodology that can serve as a model for the assessment of internal vs. external nutrient loadings in a watershed. This assessment is critical in determining the source of impacted nutrients, which can help optimize resource allocation for surface water improvements.