Lake Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes in volume (119 cubic miles) and is exposed to the greatest effects from urbanization and agriculture. Measuring 241 miles across and 57 miles from north to south, the lake's surface is just under 10,000 square miles, with 871 miles of shoreline. The average depth of Lake Erie is only about 62 feet (210 feet, maximum). It therefore warms rapidly in the spring and summer, and frequently freezes over in winter. The drainage basin covers parts of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario. Because of its fertile soils, the basin is intensively farmed and is the most densely populated of the five lake basins.
References: Great Lakes Atlas, Environment Canada and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1995
General Resources Bathymetry Map Ohio State University and the NOAA, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) The Great Lakes Forecasting System provides physical data about the lake, including this bathymetry map.
Historic Data - Lake Erie U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District The Army Corps provides current and historic data on the Great Lakes, including yearly water levels from 1918, monthly storm probability, outflows and precipitation.
Lake Erie Forecast Map Products Ohio State University and NOAA, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) The Great Lakes Forecasting System provides maps depicting 6- or 24-hour forecasted conditions for several variables.
Lake Erie Nowcast Map Products Ohio State University and NOAA, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) The Great Lakes Forecasting System provides maps depicting near real time conditions for several variables.
Great Lakes Research Consortium The Great Lakes Research Consortium consists of 16 colleges and universities in New York State and nine affiliated schools in Ontario. GLRC programs help to promote collaborative research on the Great Lakes.
Lake Erie Coastal Resources Inventory Ohio Coastal Management Program This web site is one element of Ohio's effort to increase our capabilities in applying geographically referenced information to support planning, environmental assessment and decision making about Lake Erie and its coastal region.
Lake Erie Lakewide Management Plan U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) The LaMP provides a framework for agencies, organizations and individuals to coordinate activities that they are already working on, and to propose new activities to improve the environmental quality of Lake Erie.
Lake Erie Programs Lake Erie: Tracking Depletion of Dissolved Oxygen U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) Of all the Great Lakes, Erie has been the most severely impacted by many years of heavy loadings of phosphorus from human activity. This site provides background on the Phosphorus-Oxygen link and annual surveys that track the occurrence, degree, timing and trend of oxygen depletion in the Lake Erie central basin.
New York Sea Grant Focuses the talents of university scientists and extension specialists on research in the areas of fisheries, coastal environmental quality and processes, invasive species, non-point source pollution and seafood safety.
Ohio Coastal Management Program Ohio Department of Natural Resources Designated in 1997, the OCMP integrates management of Ohio's Lake Erie coastal resources, controls activities that affect them, and fosters their sustainable use for the benefit of all citizens of the state. Learn about the OCMP's latest initiatives, including the Kelleys Island Underwater Preserve planning team.
Ohio Lake Erie Buffer Program Ohio Lake Erie Buffer Team Initiated to tackle the soil erosion and sedimentation problem in the Lake Erie watershed, the program provides opportunity for both government and private agencies to work together in improving the Lake Erie ecosystem.
Ohio Lake Erie Commission Established in 1990 to help preserve Lake Erie's natural resources, protect the quality of waters and ecosystems, and promote economic development of the region.
Pennsylvania Sea Grant Established in March 1998, the Great Lakes' newest Sea Grant Program seeks to increase public awareness of coastal issues (environmental and economic) through extension, communication, education, and applied research activities, thereby improving the overall environmental and economic "health" of Pennsylvania's coastal regions.
Stone Laboratory Summer Courses Stone Laboratory, the Lake Erie research and teaching laboratory for the university's Ohio Sea Grant College Program, offers summer courses in biology to high school students, undergraduates, graduates and educators.
Water Quality Laboratory Heidelberg College The mission of the Water Quality Laboratory (WQL) is to help protect the aquatic resources of Ohio, the Midwest, and the Lake Erie and Great Lakes ecosystems by assessing impacts of agricultural and other land uses. WQL conducts research and extension activities while supporting the educational programs of Heidelberg College.
Research Fisheries Research in Lake Erie U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Great Lakes Science Center Including predator and prey fish populations in the western basin of Lake Erie, and nearshore community interactions.
Stone Laboratory at Gibraltar Island Ohio State University Sea Grant Located on Lake Erie’s Gibraltar Island, the Lab provides summer college courses, science workshops, and a year-round research facility.
Tourism The Great Lakes Circle Tour Ride along on the 6,500-mile Great Lakes Circle Tour: a scenic, international road system connecting the five Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River! For new visitors to the region, this online travel guide offers informational maps, road routes and estimated mileages, and links to major cities, camping and recreation areas, and natural attractions.
Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Lake Erie Coastal Ohio is a nonprofit organization linking more than 300 sites across the Ohio lakeshore into a trail of history and adventure. Discover sights and places and learn how Lake Erie has shaped industry, culture and settlement.