2023 Highlights: Empowering Communities for Lake Erie's Protection - The Year in Review with LEVSN

December 11, 2023

2023 Highlights: Empowering Communities for Lake Erie's Protection - The Year in Review with LEVSN

Stewardship and the protection of our water resources takes a collaborative, all-hands-on-deck approach involving governments, institutions, organizations, businesses, experts, and everyday people: our community members, neighbors, and friends. In bridging the gap between stakeholders, Cleveland Water Alliance pioneered the Lake Erie Volunteer Science Network (LEVSN), an association of volunteers, to empower community members to take an active role in protecting their local waterways. Established in 2020, LEVSN has connected community-based water quality groups interested in collecting data to monitor Lake Erie's health. Since the launch of the initiative, the network has exploded in membership, attracting water quality monitoring groups across multiple states. 

Standardizing the Data

As the program expanded, the Lake Erie Volunteer Science Network worked to create standardized monitoring and collection protocols to ensure the data was consistent and accessible. Collaborating with academic and government agencies, LEVSN developed the Lake Erie Baseline Assessment Framework (LEBAF) Standards, a set of benchmarks managing the collection, analysis, and communication of water quality data for volunteer groups, which equip volunteers with the methodologies needed to participate.

Celebrating Success in the 2023 Season

The Lake Erie Science Network continues to grow in reach and impact; LEVSN has achieved extraordinary milestones throughout 2023.

This year, the network and its members have:  

Ways to Get Involved 

The Lake Erie Volunteer Science Network has made remarkable progress. From the beginning efforts of a small group of volunteers to a multi-state network of empowered advocates, the movement and overall impact on our communities has been transformational. Involvement has fostered participation and a rewarding sense of shared stewardship among community members. Our neighbors are taking an active role in the preservation and protection of the Lake Erie Basin in a practical way.

The network has already demonstrated the capacity of volunteer science to generate powerful scientific and community impact, and we will continue to build momentum as our movement grows. LEVSN invites communities, organizations, and individuals to join us in pursuing better water quality and quality of life for all Lake Erie Basin communities by:

If you are interested in supporting or partnering with LEVSN, please reach out to Max Herzog with Cleveland Water Alliance at mherzog@clewa.org. Together, we can ensure a healthier future for all Lake Erie Basin communities. With your help, the story has just begun.

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