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Assignment 3.1 Determining Cause and Effect
Erin Martin
Professor Gabriel Smith
ENG Comp 115
December 9, 2013

Determining Cause and Effect
Lake Huron is the world's third largest lake. It host’s several beaches near shore with a major focus on bacterial contamination from humans. It also brings recreational water quality to an issue. Bacterial contaminants spread to fish and certain contaminants results in bioaccumulation and biomagnifies in the food chains. The bioaccumulation describes the buildup of chemicals in fish while Biomagnify is the concentration of chemical build-up in fish (Scharfe, 2008). Chemicals can end up in fish through wind and rain run-off into rivers, lakes, or any body of water. People are generally at the top of this food chain because we eat the fish. Just like chemicals build up in fish, they can build up in our bodies. This chemical build up may not cause health problems right away, but could lead to future health problems. The rise and fall of of Lake Huron’s fish is ongoing over the last century. Currently, Lake Huron is on the rise for healthy fish consumption, but the levels of fish available for consumption have decreased due to “the spiny water flea, an invasive zooplankton that often clumps on fishing lines and downrigger cables. Smelt were also found in significant numbers of Chinook salmon stomachs.” (Great Lakes Fishing Council, 2011)(http://www.great-lakes.org/Wkly_news/graphics/08-01-11-D.jpg)
There have been several fish consumption advisories that provide information on the levels of contamination that are unsafe for humans. They focus on the types of fish to avoid or the amounts required for human consumption. However, fish are essential for a healthy diet because they are a low calorie source of protein but recommended species in Lake Huron have declined over the last decade due to contamination. Declines in prey fish have also resulted in a decline in predation species. For instance, the Herring Gull eggs are contaminated. These animals use the lake from eliminating waste, feeling, to their reproductive cycle. It is a continuous contamination process with inhabitants of Lake Huron.
“The biodiversity of the Lake Huron watershed is under stress from number of factors, such as invasive species, loss and fragmentation of habitat, rapid residential and industrial growth.” (www.miseagrant .com). The impact of the ecosystem integrity is the lake is evidenced by the high level of fish contamination, and decline in the wildlife health in the region. Rather than the chemical impacts, the lake has also evidenced multiple biological and physical effects. The biological down sides are evidenced the impaired Benthic Communities and the fish community alteration. A Benthic Invertebrate Community “are organisms that live in or on the bottom sediments of rivers, streams, and lakes. The benthic invertebrate community—the population and species present—is strongly affected by its environment, including sediment composition and quality, water quality, and hydrological factors that influence the physical habitat. Because the benthic community is so dependent on its surroundings, it serves as a biological indicator that reflects the overall condition of the aquatic environment.” (Regional Aquatic Monitoring Programs, 2008). According to Newton (2008), level of methylmercury in fish from Lake Huron is above the 3 percent recommended levels by the seafood consumer advice.
The increase in violent weather with heavy wind and rain is causing tainted dumping water to runoff into Lake Huron. “Under the water’s surface, invasive species spread unchecked, decimating the food web and destabilizing the ecosystem.” (Council, 2012). Beaches are clustered with algae, ground surface, and floating bacterial and chemical contaminants. In addition, threats on the biological integrity are also portrayed through changes in the lower food web and alterations of the fish community.
(Lake Huron food web based on: (2003). "Compartments revealed in food-web structure". Nature 426 (6964): 282–285.)
Lake Huron’s contamination with organic, inorganic and macroscopic pollution is currently a global problem that requires constant evaluation and revision of water source policy. This will assist in reducing deaths and diseases as a result of water pollution. For instance, more than 90 percent of China suffers from degree of water pollution while about 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water. Bottom line degradation and loss of historical habitat is recognized as a major stressor to Lake Huron and its watershed and was identified as a priority for action by the Lake Huron Binational Partnership.” (www.docstoc.com)

References
Biomagnification. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomagnification
Council, N. D. (2012). Policy research and analysis . Retrieved December 9, 2013, from National Resources Defense council: http://www.nrdc.org/policy/
Michigan Department of Community Health. (2001). Physical Health and Prevention. Retrieved December 9, 2013, from MDCH Health: http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,4612,7-132-2940---,00.html
Newton, David (2008). Chemistry of the Environment. Checkmark Books
Scharfe, P. (2008). Lake Huron . Retrieved December 2013, from Lake huron country Health Unit- Doc.stoc: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/46341405/2008-Notes%5B680 http://www.great-lakes.org/Wkly_news/graphics/08-01-11-D.jpg Great Lakes Fishing Council. (2011). Retrieved December 15, 2013, from http://www.great-lakes.org/Wkly_news/08-01-11.html#Great_Lakes_Water_Levels_for_July_29,_2011
Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program. (2008). Retrieved December 15, 2013, from http://www.ramp-alberta.org/ramp/design+and+monitoring/components/benthic.aspx
Lake Huron food web based on: (2003). "Compartments revealed in food-web structure". Nature 426 (6964): 282–285. Retrieved December 15, 2013, from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_Huron_Food_Web.pdf

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