For the purpose of comparing the relative availability of particulate phosphorus (P) from various sources to the Great Lakes, algal-available P was determined on suspended solids and bottom sediments from tributaries, wastewater suspended solids, lake bottom sediments, and eroding bluff solids from the region. Physicochemical and bioassay methods were used to estimate the rate and extent of available P release from particulates. Considering all types of particulates examined, ultimately available P ranged from nil to approximately 70% of total phosphorus (Total-P) content. During algal bioassays, changes in levels of base-extractable inorganic P (R-NaOH-P) in tributary suspended solids were nearly equivalent to the amounts of P used by algae during bioassays. For the tributary solids, ultimately available P averaged approximately 90% of R-NAOH-P. Consistent differences were found in amounts of available P among particles from different sources. Sources of particle-bound P ranked in order of decreasing availability were: wastewater solids, lake bottom sediments, tributary solids, and eroding bluff solids. Differences in available P release rates also existed among the different types of particles. Wastewater solids displayed the largest first-order release rates, eroding bluff samples and tributary-suspended solid samples that were high in apatite showed essentially no available P release, while other tributary suspended solids displayed intermediate release rates.