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State of the Lakes Survey

The Reservoirs and Lake Management (RLM) Working Group developed an online State of the Lakes survey to assess the perception of ecological threats and management of the lakes globally. Our goal is to understand the current state of lakes and the management structures in place to address ecological threats (e.g., harmful algal blooms, invasive species, climate change, etc.).

The survey was administered to GLEON members and affiliates in February 2016. We received responses regarding 148 lakes on 6 continents and found respondents were most concerned about climate change followed by eutrophication, harmful algal blooms, and invasive species. The threat of climate change was perceived differently by respondents that identified themselves as scientists (87% affirmative), manager (70% affirmative), and stakeholder (58% affirmative). Managers and stakeholders more often perceived eutrophication and invasive species to be threats to the lake on which they reported. Managers and stakeholders were, however, a small proportion of the GLEON survey respondents. To further explore the threat perceptions of lake managers and stakeholders, we distributed a nearly identical (modified to remove GLEON specific references) through the North American Lake Management Society in October 2016. Analysis of the pooled data is underway. Additional details on the GLEON State of the Lakes survey results can be found in Baumert 2016 (Bard College M.S. thesis).

Data collected with these surveys will be used to generate a State of the Lakes database that will be made publically available (i.e. published to DataOne). Our aim is to complement but not duplicate the on-going collection of Metadata for GLEON lakes led by the NETLAKE Group. We remain interested in new collaborators, particularly those interested in distributing the survey to lake scientists, managers, and stakeholders in their region and working on the spatial analysis of existing data.


2015-10-15 to 2018-10-15
Project Working Group: 

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