The focus of the Center is on human health effects in the Great Lakes, related to three research priority areas: beach closures, drinking water quality, and harmful algal blooms. The understanding of ecosystem processes, particularly hydrodynamics and the influence of abiotic factors on the fate, transport of sources and loadings of bacteria and microbial contaminants will ultimately lead to sound environmental decision-making and reduce human health risks. There are many processes and events that can influence sources, transport, and loading of bacteria and nutrients to the lakes, such as land-use and meteorological processes. Defining and forecasting these relationships will be the primary research focus of the Center. Our research is concentrated on providing forecasts of water quality that can be used directly to reduce risks to human health associated recreational exposure and human consumption of Great Lakes water. Effective management of coastal ecosystems requires timely and continuing predictions of ecosystem change.