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State Revisits Algae Blooms

Ohio plans to have two study groups research how to better fight toxic algae on Lake Erie after seeing a concentrated algae bloom in its western basin this year. The algae bloom this year added to the "dead zone" where fish can't live and that it could threaten the lake's tourism industry, valued at $10 billion. Runoffs of fertilizer, manure and sewage contribute phosphorus that feed blue-green algae, which can produce toxins that can sicken people and animals. Environmentalists say officials need to take action to reduce such runoffs from farms and sewage treatment facilities before the algae problem worsens. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Agriculture each plan to have a panel work on the issue.