Lake Erie Algae Bloom Growing Again

The algae bloom in Lake Erie has spread to cover much of the edge of Lake Eerie near Toledo, but toxins remain low where local communities draw drinking water supply.
October 4, 2017, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Algae see spread across the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio on September 22, 2017.
NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

Jugal K. Patel and Yuliya Parshina-Kottas provide in-depth, feature coverage of the infamous Lake Erie algae bloom, which made news in 2014, but has recently been turning Lake Erie and the Maumee River green and potentially toxic again.

The risk of algae blooms comes from the likelihood that they produce toxins like microcystis. "Dangerous levels of the toxin caused Toledo, Ohio, to shut down the drinking water supply of a half-million residents for three days in 2014," according to the article. Some 3 million residents rely on the Central Basin of Lake Eerie for drinking water, so there's a very essential risk, but tourism for recreation like fishing and beach-going are also at risk when algae blooms grow.

And the algae blooms have grown in recent decades, due to the impact of the regional agricultural industry. "According to one study by the Carnegie Institute for Science and Stanford University , most of the increase in the size of the blooms can be attributed to a rise in the amount of dissolved phosphorus flowing into the lake," write Patel and Parshina-Kottas.

The article is supplemented with lots of images and infographics to illustrate the scale of the environmental disaster persisting around Lake Erie.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 in The New York Times
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