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The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system in the world, providing about one fifth of the world’s surface freshwater and nine tenths of the surface freshwater in the United States. The Great Lakes are also among the most sensitive ecosystems in the world to a broad range of toxic contaminant deposition and accumulation. With over 94,000 square miles of surface area, the Great Lakes are very susceptible to atmospheric pollutants that fall with snow or rain (wet deposition) or fall as dust particles (dry deposition) on the lake surface or within the extensive land drainage system.
The Great Lakes Air Deposition program is set up by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to address the deposition of toxic pollutants, as well as understand how these pollutants adversely affect both human and ecosystem health within the Great Lakes basin. Under the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), the GLAD program will primarily be used to highlight the need to better understand impacts associated with the deposition of pollutants and what can be done to aid I relief efforts. IDEM hopes to aid in the efforts of maintaining the delicate ecosystem of the Great Lakes by working closely with leading scientists to help further scientifically sound management of atmospheric deposition.
For more information, please contact the GLAD Program Administrator in the Office of Air Quality at (317) 233-3861.
In 2016, the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO) became the first recipient of the GLAD grant. LADCO is using the awarded funds in order to monitor mercury deposition at a new Atmospheric Mercury Network (AMNet) site in southern Indiana. The data collected will then be analyzed in order to better understand both dry and wet mercury deposition within the Great Lakes region, as well as potential effects on the ecosystem.