EPA Region 5 - For Release January 22, 1998

EPA Joins Lake Michigan Sediment Plume Study

CHICAGO, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- A team of 45 scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), four other federal agencies, and numerous universities and research centers will conduct a research project, "Episodic Events -- Great Lakes Experiment" (EEGLE) beginning January 28 in Milwaukee, Wis.

The study is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the Coastal Ocean Program and will be conducted in the south end of Lake Michigan from Milwaukee to Grand Haven, Mich., over an estimated three late winters, early springs.

Experts will study a massive plume of fine clay and sediment, evident from recent satellite photographs of the lake. The plume is estimated to be up to 12 miles wide and 200 miles long and may be the single largest annual "event," for moving nutrients and contaminants throughout the lake. EPA will complement EEGLE's biological and nutrient research with its own study on how plume contaminants affect the water and the air that moves over the lake.

The scope of the EEGLE project is second only to EPA's major mass Balance Study in understanding the physical, chemical and biological processes, and forming future strategies that will meet the environmental challenges facing the Great Lakes.

###

Technical Contact - Glenn Warren, 312-886-2405 or
Dr. J. Val Klump, 414-382-1700
Media Contact - Karen Thompson, 312-353-8547