Publication Details

Mercury sulfur initiative: suggested program of research for the Upper Great Lakes States

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Year Published

2022

Publication

Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-206. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 28p.

Abstract

Mercury and sulfur in Upper Great Lakes watersheds of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan are persistent pollutants that threaten ecosystem services and human health. In 2021, the U.S. Congress directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service’s Northern Research Station to study mercury and sulfur pollution in the Great Lakes region over a 5-year period. Specifically, the Northern Research Station was directed to generate science to inform policy regarding mercury and sulfur pollution and to implement demonstration sites for proposed remediation technologies. This report describes the existing scientific resources and cross-disciplinary capabilities that the Forest Service and collaborators contribute to the effort, summarizes existing scientific knowledge, identifies knowledge gaps, and outlines the next steps needed to fill these gaps and develop potential mitigation measures for mercury and sulfur pollution. It details the potential for such pollution to affect valuable resources, including Manoomin (wild rice) and freshwater fish, two ecosystem services that have considerable ecological and socio-economic value and special significance to Indigenous Peoples of the Upper Great Lakes region. How the dynamics of mercury and sulfur may be affected by a changing climate and existing treatments for mercury and sulfur pollution are also reviewed. The report concludes with a series of recommendations for research investments that can provide critical information to land managers and policymakers

Keywords

mercury; sulfur; freshwater fish; Manoomin; wild rice; climate change; phytotechnology

Citation

Kolka, Randall K.; Haight, Robert G.; Chun, Chan Lan; Berens, Matthew J.; Rogers, Elizabeth R.; Vinhal, Ryan A.; Zalesny, Ronald S., Jr.; Nislow, Keith H.; Perry, Charles H.; Connolly, Stephanie J. 2022. Mercury sulfur initiative: suggested program of research for the Upper Great Lakes States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-206. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 28p. https://doi.org/10.2737/NRS-GTR-206

Last updated on: May 2, 2022