Sep 12

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Lake Erie’s Got the Algal Bloom Blues

This Great Lake has a problem that’s blooming out of control. Jam on this:


Going green isn’t always good for the environment (Image credit: NOAA/NCCOS)

Lake Erie touches upon Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Canada, and provides drinking water to more than 11 million people.

But phosphorus from fertilizer and sewage has increased cyanobacteria in the lake. Often called blue-green algae, it can produce toxic blooms that make fish, animals, and even people sick. And in Lake Erie, it’s happening more frequently.

Dan Obenour explains, “The problem is it just doesn’t take as much phosphorus as it used to – to get a large bloom going.”

Obenour helped identify this troubling trend while at the University of Michigan Water Center. More work is needed to determine the cause, but invasive mussels or calmer winds may be to blame.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/stormwater-management/lake-erie-algal-blooms/