We fund high quality scientific studies in an effort to maintain clean and healthy water. We partner with regional experts and other lake associations in these efforts. Development of a strategic plan for future monitoring is underway.
"A recent 3-year research initiative was aimed at evaluating the potential for using newer molecular biology (qPCR) and drone surveillance (IR imaging) technology to assess the contribution of riparian septic system effluent to our lake waters.
This initiative came after two years of research on lake ecosystem enteric bacteria analysis: 2018 showed evidence of human fecal bacteria in about 25% of lake surface water samples around the lakes in Leelanau County, and 2019 showed significant increases in enteric bacteria via inlet streams after a rain event on the same lakes.
Our primary goals with this initiative include (a) increasing enteric bacteria baseline data for both surface and ground water around recreational lakes, (b) archiving water samples for both surface and drinking water, (c) assessing changes over time during the high-use summer season, and (d) determining correlation between IR imaging of drain fields using new drone technology and enteric bacteria in surface and ground water."
The off-shore program measures algal nutrients, water clarity, chlorophyll, and dissolved oxygen at multiple depths at a deep water site several times per year.
The near-shore program measures periphyton (including Cladophora) at nine locations. Near-shore algal growth is a sensitive indicator of nutrient inputs from sources such as septic system drain fields and fertilizer run-off.
A 3 year study was undertaken to establish baseline measurements for ongoing monitoring. See related reports below. This study is combined with relevant historic data in the database which is linked here. Database
Little Traverse Lake Property Owners Association