Great Lakes Region

Great Lakes ERMA (Environmental Response Management Application)

With GLRI funding, NOAA has developed Great Lakes ERMA (Environmental Response Management Application).  ERMA is an online mapping tool for coastal pollution cleanup, restoration, and response efforts in the Great Lakes Basin, from Minnesota to New York in the United States and from Ontario to Quebec in Canada.

Great Lakes ERMA is helping expedite cleanup and restoration of Areas of Concern (AOCs) by combining environmental contaminant data from NOAA’s Great Lakes Query Manager database (also developed with GLRI funds) with ecological, recreational, tribal, commercial, and manufacturing information.  The Query Manager improves data delivery and interpretation of sediment contamination for coastal resource managers by organizing data sets of multiple studies into a standardized structure. The database allows users to select from a menu of pre-programmed queries to access, sort, and compare chemistry and toxicity data for individual watersheds. This project expedites the development, implementation, and monitoring processes of sediment cleanup and restoration projects throughout the Great Lakes. Also, this project promotes actions necessary for delisting AOCs and BUIs in the Great Lakes region and will create a transparent and functional database- improving accountability of sediment contamination within these areas.

Often, data available at any given project site are from multiple sources and are not comparable due to differences in unit measures reported or by differing chemical summing routines. The NOAA Query Manager database is becoming a centralized repository for Great Lakes sediment toxicity data for individual watersheds. Users will be able to choose from a menu of queries that will sort and analyze various data sets, comparing site data to Sediment Quality Guidelines and depicting areas of potential concern. The program automatically displays results on maps and saves the extracted data in a easily usable format with more comprehensive mapping and spatial analysis programs, such as ArcGIS. There are both web-based and desktop versions of the tool and graphical displays facilitate a watershed-scale approach to assessment and remediation activities by focusing on the spatial relationships between contaminants, toxicity, resources and land use data.

Great Lakes Query Manager is available for free download at the NOAA website Here. 

Learn more about Great Lakes ERMA Here.

GLRI Funding:
FY 2010 – $1,750,000
FY 2011 – $100,000
FY 2012 – $85,000
FY 2013 – $90,250
FY 2014 – $98,200
FY 2015 – $98,200

Contact Info:
Ben Shorr, Physical Scientist
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, NOAA
Phone: 206-526-4654




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