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River Environment and Sensor Observational Network

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Project overview: Our team will demonstrate the utility of water quality sensors on major rivers in the Great Lakes system to provide invaluable information in support of adaptive management and understanding long-term ecosystem change and its impact on Great Lakes water quality.  A novel application of sensors will detect ecosystem change on shorter time scales than other performance indicators of ecosystem integrity, all the while gathering and sharing continuous long-term meaningful environmental data.

Project goal:  The REASON Project will make a significant contribution to the development of smart infrastructure in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system.  Through rational geographic sensor array locations and common data management protocols it will document rapidly changing environmental conditions in major rivers in the region and bring this information to decision makers in a useful and meaningful way.  The REASON Project will contribute to understanding such issues as how water level regulation schemes influence biogeochemical conditions that affect water quality, source tracking of pollution affecting nearshore water quality, and fish migration.  We expect that Great Lakes restoration activities will benefit from the long-term data provided by the REASON project, which is expected to expand to all Great Lakes connecting channels, in response to the need for nearshore water quality management and connecting channel monitoring stipulated in the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Protocol.