Lake Erie: Algae Blooms Ensure Ongoing Threat

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  • The relatively rare "deer bloom" is less of a threat than this summer's forthcoming algae bloom.
With temperatures sure to warm up at some point, Lake Erie find itself hurtling toward yet another annual algae bloom that will further threaten water quality and beach-going safety this year.

The New York Times, granting northern Ohio one of its occasional datelines, sums up the matter rather tidily:

Lake Erie is sick. A thick and growing coat of toxic algae appears each summer, so vast that in 2011 it covered a sixth of its waters, contributing to an expanding dead zone on its bottom, reducing fish populations, fouling beaches and crippling a tourism industry that generates more than $10 billion in revenue annually.

So the predicted strong rains during the rest of March and April portend vast algae blooms this summer - most notably near Toledo and Sandusky. And the trend since 2002 has been a general increase in the size, scope and depth of the blooms, which essentially strangle the lake and all life within it for months on end.

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