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Smaller Lake Erie Algae Bloom Predicted for This Summer

Satellite image of the 2014 algae bloom that contaminated Toledo's drinking water supply.
Satellite image of the 2014 algae bloom that contaminated Toledo's drinking water supply.
Satellite image of the 2014 algae bloom that contaminated Toledo's drinking water supply.
Credit NOAA
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Satellite image of the 2014 algae bloom that contaminated Toledo's drinking water supply.

Algae will be an issue in Lake Erie’s western basin again this summer, but thanks to the weather, the bloom will not be as big as past years. That’s according to a forecast issued today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.               

The NOAA forecast says the western basin will experience a large, potentially harmful algae bloom, but nothing compared to the ones over the past eight years including 2014’s bloom that impacted Toledo’s water supply. JeffReutteris a special advisor to the Ohio Sea Grant program at Ohio State University. He says efforts to reduce farm runoff that feed algae blooms don’t get the credit.

“The improvements that we’re seeing this year are not the results of lots of action on the land, but more the fortunate circumstances of having less rain.”

Since May, rainfall in the western Lake Erie basin has been nearly five inches less than normal.Reutterand other environmental scientists say the key to consistently reducing algae blooms is strict enforcement of efforts like the agreement between Ohio, Michigan and Ontario to lower phosphorus runoff 40 percent by 2025

              

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