Kent State And NASA Team Up Against Algae Blooms In Lake Erie

Oct 10, 2017

A Kent State University researcher is working with NASA and other universities in tracking the threats to water quality in Lake Erie.

Geology professor Joseph Ortiz will collaborate with NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland to identify dangerous algae blooms in and around Lake Erie.

Ortiz and his fellow researchers are using equipment provided by NASA to identify and keep track of harmful blooms. This also includes blue-green algae also known as cyanobacteria.

“We’re developing methodologies to identify the different types of algae from space and cyanobacterium and that will let us improve our early detection of these potentially harmful blooms,” Ortiz says. “And that’s really important because it provides an additional safeguard on people’s drinking water.”

Cyanobacteria is very common in fresh water but under certain conditions can be toxic and has caused water contamination issues in the Lake Erie region in the past.

Ortiz and his team recently published a scientific article about their work on possible solutions to this problem.