Unified Interior Regions

Region 3: Great Lakes

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

For more information on the Great Lakes and work being done, check out the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative website here! 


USGS Science Centers in the Great Lakes Region

For more information on what each center is doing in the Great Lakes, please follow the links below! 

Great Lakes Science Center

Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Water Science Center

Upper Midwest Water Science Center

Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

National Wildlife Health Center

Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 213
Date published: March 28, 2019
Status: Active

Michigan Streamflow Data Available Online

The USGS in Michigan-in cooperation with local, State, Tribal, and Federal partners-operates 155 streamgages recording stage and streamflow, and 13 lake-level gages. There are about 7,400 streamgages nationwide; many of these gages provide real-time data in 15-minute increments, which typically are transmitted to the World Wide Web every 1 to 2 hours using satellite, telephone, or cellular...

Contacts: Thomas L Weaver
Date published: March 27, 2019
Status: Active

Water-Quality Monitor Network in Michigan

The USGS operates a network of real-time water-quality monitoring stations that measure up to five physical parameters. The parameters are temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. One to four of those parameters are measured at 26 sites, while all five parameters are measured at 13 sites. These data are used for decision making about hydroelectric power...

Contacts: Thomas L Weaver
Date published: March 26, 2019
Status: Active

Little St. Germain Lake: Phosphorus loading, winter anoxia, and stage regulation

Little St. Germain Lake, Wis., consists of four main basins separated by narrows. This study monitored lake water quality, identified phosphorus sources, determined spatial and temporal distribution of oxygen, evaluated the effectiveness of winter aeration systems, and modeled groundwater/lake-water interactions.

Date published: March 26, 2019
Status: Active

Defining Native Ranges of U.S. Inland Fishes

Understanding the native versus non-native range of a species can provide useful information about dispersal, population distribution patterns, and human mediated movement across hydrologic barriers. The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) Program is working with partners to define native ranges of inland fishes in the United States to help identify which species should be included in the...

Date published: March 26, 2019
Status: Active

Assessing stormwater reduction using green infrastructure: Gary City Hall (Gary, Ind.)

The effectiveness of green infrastructure (rain gardens and decreased impervious surfaces) at reducing stormwater runoff is being assessed at a redevelopment project at Gary City Hall (Gary, Indiana). This study will evaluate pre- and post-construction hydrologic conditions using data collected by monitoring storm-sewer flow, groundwater levels, soil moisture, and meteorological conditions....

Contacts: David C Lampe, Brenda Scott-Henry
Date published: March 24, 2019
Status: Active

Assessing stormwater reduction through green infrastructure: RecoveryPark (Detroit, Mich.)

The effectiveness of green infrastructure (including urban land conversion and bioswales) at reducing stormwater runoff is being assessed at RecoveryPark, a redeveloped urban farm in Detroit, Michigan. This study will monitor pre- and post-construction storm-sewer flow, groundwater levels, precipitation, and potential evapotranspiration.

Contacts: Christopher J Hoard, Stephanie Beeler, Ralph Haefner, Danielle Green, Bill Shuster, Donald Carpenter, Gary Wozniak
Date published: March 23, 2019
Status: Active

Edge-of-field monitoring: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative edge-of-field monitoring focuses on identifying and reducing agricultural sources of excess nutrients which threaten the health of the Great Lakes. The USGS supports these efforts by utilizing edge-of-field monitoring to assess the quantity and quality of agricultural runoff and evaluate conservation practices that aim to reduce sediment and nutrient loss....

Date published: March 20, 2019
Status: Archived

Determination of Algal Toxin Concentrations in Surface Waters at National Parks

The U.S. Geological Survey, in partnership with the National Park Service began a project in 2012 exploring  levels of the algal toxins in surface drinking water and recreational waters in 3 National Park Service Parks: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Isle Royale National Park, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. 

Date published: March 18, 2019
Status: Active

Illinois Nutrient Monitoring Sites

Eight nutrient monitoring stations were established in 2015 to continuously monitor nutrient and sediment concentrations and loads in support of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.  This site provides current and historical monitoring information for the eight nutrient monitoring stations.

Contacts: Paul J Terrio
Date published: March 18, 2019
Status: Completed

Evaluating the potential benefits of permeable pavement on the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff

Permeable pavement is a porous urban surface which catches precipitation and surface runoff, storing it in the reservoir while slowly allowing it to infiltrate into the soil below. This study will evaluate how well different types of permeable pavement reduces the amount of pollutants and runoff volume.

Date published: March 17, 2019
Status: Completed

Evaluating the impacts of aircraft deicers in runoff from General Mitchell International Airport, Milwaukee, Wis.

Chemicals used to deice planes at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee may be entering nearby streams in concentrations that may be harmful to aquatic life. This project will investigate the toxicity of decing chemicals, evaluate their impact on receiving streams, and assess changes in water quality in response to the implementation of deicer management at General Mitchell...

Contacts: Steven R Corsi
Filter Total Items: 62
Date published: September 11, 2017

Long-term Trends in Midwestern Milkweeds and their Relevance for Monarchs

This is the dataset used in the BioScience publication of the same name.

Date published: September 1, 2017

National Water Information System web interface (NWISweb)

The National Water Information System (NWIS) web application provides access to real-time and historical surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites across all 50 states.

Date published: June 3, 2017

Water-Quality Monitor Network in Michigan

The USGS operates a network of real-time water-quality monitoring stations that measure up to five physical parameters. The parameters are temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. One to four of those parameters are measured at 26 sites, while all five parameters are measured at 13 sites. 

Date published: April 19, 2017


MODFLOW is the USGS's three-dimensional (3D) finite-difference groundwater model. MODFLOW is considered an international standard for simulating and predicting groundwater conditions and groundwater/surface-water interactions.

Date published: April 19, 2017


SPARROW (SPAtially-Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes), is watershed based and designed for use in predicting long-term average values of water characteristics, such as concentrations and amounts of selected constituents that are delivered to downstream receiving waters.

Date published: April 19, 2017


StreamStats is a Web application that incorporates a Geographic Information System (GIS) to provide users with access to an assortment of analytical tools that are useful for a variety of water-resources planning and management purposes, and for engineering and design purposes.

Date published: April 7, 2017

Bathythermograph Data, Lake Michigan, 1954

In 1954 researchers at the USGS Great Lakes Science Center conducted 11 research cruises on Lake Michigan during which 779 bathythermographs were cast to collect temperature profile data (temperature at depth). Bathythermographs of that era recorded water pressure and temperature data by mechanically etching them as a curve on a glass slide. Data was collected from the glass slide by projecti...

Date published: March 31, 2017

USGS Water Services

This site serves USGS water data via automated means using web services and extensible markup language (XML) , as well as other popular media types. Services are invoked with the REST protocol. These services designed for high fault tolerance and very high availability.

Date published: March 31, 2017

Water Now

Send a text message to WaterNow@usgs.gov containing the USGS Site Number of the gage you want to query (optionally add parameter codes to customize your query). You will receive a response within a few minutes.

Date published: March 8, 2017

Application of Wind Fetch and Wave Models for Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Projects - 2012 Update

Models based upon coastal engineering equations have been developed to quantify wind fetch length and several physical wave characteristics including significant height, length, peak period, maximum orbital velocity, and shear stress.

Date published: January 1, 2017

Herbicide Safener and Co-Applied Herbicide Concentrations for Seven Streams across Iowa and Illinois (March 2016 to June 2017)

Four dichloroacetamide herbicide safeners (AD-67, benoxacor, dichlormid, and furilazole) and two co-applied herbicides (acetochlor and metolachlor) were measured in water samples from 7 streams across Iowa and Illinois. Iowa water samples were collected from March 2016 to June 2017, and Illinois water samples were collected from September 2016 to June 2017. The compounds studied a

Date published: November 15, 2016

Nowcast - Water-Quality Conditions At Beaches And A Recreational River

The Ohio Nowcast is a system that provides near-real-time beach advisories to the public through use of quick measurements and predictive models.

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An algae bloom on Lake Le-Auqa-Na, Illinois.
June 17, 2019

Algal blooms occur in many water bodies where there is too much "food"

Harmful Algal Blooms

USGS scientists identified potentially harmful levels of cyanobacteria in lakes they sampled in Illinois during the drought of 2012. Toxins produced by the cyanobacteria were measured at harmful concentrations in four lakes.  Cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, are capable of generating toxins (cyanotoxins), such as microcystin, that

Hammond Bay Biological Station Field Work Collage
June 3, 2019

Voice of America Visits Hammond Bay Biological Station

GLSC Hammond Bay Biological Station research was filmed by Voice of America (VOA) News on June 2-3, 2019. Clockwise from top right: VOA videographer, Ailin Li, interviewing Scott Miehls, USGS; live sea lamprey; videography team at the Ocqueoc River sea lamprey barrier and trap, (L-R) Nathan Allen, GLFC, Josh Benson, Andrea Miehls, GLFC/USGS, Ed Benzer, FWS, Ailin Li, VOA,

A brown newt on green moss.
May 31, 2019

Newt spotted during fieldwork in Wisconsin

A newt seen during fieldwork in Wisconsin sampling newts for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) an emerging fungal pathogen.

Acoustic Telemetry Used to Track Fish
May 30, 2019

Acoustic Telemetry Used to Track Fish

Staff from the USGS Great Lakes Science Center gaze at the Mackinac Bridge rising above the mist in the Straits of Mackinac, Michigan. The lines they are holding are attached to grappling hooks being used to retrieve acoustic telemetry equipment anchored on the bottom of the straits. The equipment is used to track fish movements in the Great Lakes and was deployed as part

Samantha Stanton (USGS) explains Phragmites monitoring protocols
May 29, 2019

Teaching monitoring protocols for invasive Phragmites

Samantha Stanton (Great Lakes Commission, GLSC Volunteer) demonstrates the monitoring protocol to training attendees on May 29, 2019, near Centerville, Michigan.

Lamprey Wound Seminar Participants
May 21, 2019

Scientists Examine Sea Lamprey Wound Characteristics

Tribal, state, and federal fisheries professionals classifying sea lamprey wounds on lake trout at a workshop in Red Cliff, Wisconsin.

Urbana, IL CMWSC office entrance
May 17, 2019

Central Midwest Water Science Center Urbana, IL office entrance

Entrance for the Urbana, IL office of the Central Midwest Water Science Center. Located in the North deck parking garage on the University of Illinois campus. Entrance is on east side of building; address 405 N Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL 6180. Contact office for visitor parking information at 217-328-8747.

May 2, 2019

Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework: Model Overview

This animation is the third video in a series explaining different aspects of the Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF). This video focuses on the machine learning model that PAMF uses to systematically learn from participant's data and then provide site-specific management guidance in return. More information about PAMF can be found at our websites:

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Lake Michigan at Sunset
August 16, 2017

Invasive mussels and less nutrients from tributaries have altered the Lake Michigan ecosystem making it more conducive to the stocking of lake trout and steelhead than Chinook salmon, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey and Michigan State University study.

Hibernating little brown bat with white muzzle and spots on wings typical of white-nose syndrome. (Photo by Greg Turner, Pennsyl
August 1, 2017

The cold-loving fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or Pd) that causes white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of North American bats during hibernation, could also spread in summer months. Bats and humans visiting contaminated caves and mines can inadvertently contribute to the spread of the fungus, according to a recently published study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

July 14, 2017

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring heavy flooding in the Columbus and Newark Ohio areas, as well as the northwest part of the state.

Image of a red dye study conducted in the Brandon Road Lock on the Des Plaines River near Joliet, Illinois, in 2015.
June 6, 2017

U.S. Geological Survey scientists will inject a harmless, bright red fluorescent dye into the auxiliary lock at Locks and Dam 14 on the Mississippi River near Pleasant Valley, Iowa, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, weather permitting. If needed, a backup date is scheduled for June 27, 2017.  

Southeastern myotis with Pd - thumb
June 1, 2017

Biologists have confirmed white-nose syndrome in the southeastern bat, or Myotis austroriparius, for the first time. The species joins eight other hibernating bat species in North America that are afflicted with the deadly bat fungal disease.

Jumping Silver Carp
April 26, 2017

If invasive bighead carp and silver carp spread into Lake Michigan, there would be enough food available for these particular species of Asian carp to survive, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image shows a male white-tailed deer facing to the left of the image.
April 18, 2017

A new tool, which predicted the recent, rapid growth and continued spread of chronic wasting disease in deer, can help forecast and manage other costly biological threats to humans, animals and the environment, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.

April 17, 2017

For more than two decades, researchers, geologists, and investors had no idea they were standing above tremendous wealth. Thousands of feet deep beneath the surface of western Michigan, a potential multibillion-dollar potash deposit was discovered. Potash—a mineral salt containing high levels of potassium—is an ingredient in fertilizer essential for growing crops.

Image shows a map of U.S. states colored based on the value of their mineral industry
April 14, 2017

In 2016, these five states led the pack in mineral production, accounting for about one third of the total mineral production value for the entire country.

Little Plover River Wells
April 6, 2017

Both irrigation wells and municipal wells affect flows in the Little Plover River near Plover, Wisconsin, stretches of which ran dry in past years, according to a new scientific report.

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