Algae blooms

Erik Drost / Flickr

New funding from the state will help researchers better examine environmental problems in Lake Erie.

A 600 mile long algae bloom on the Ohio River in 2015.
Jeff Reutter / Ohio Sea Grant via Flickr

A crowdsourcing effort is in the works to monitor toxic algae polluting Lake Erie.

A glass of "Algae Bloom" beer at Maumee Bay Brewing Co. in Toledo. The brewery is making the green, murky beer to draw attention to the algae blooms that taint Lake Erie's water.
John Seewer / AP

There are spicy beers and even peanut butter beers, made to stand out on crowded shelves. Then there's a murky, green brew that looks a lot like algae. It's making a statement on the one ingredient brewers can't do without — clean water.

The vague warning jolted citizens in and around Salem, Oregon to attention on May 29.

"Civil Emergency in this area until 1128PM," read the text message alert. "Prepare for action."

It was a ham-handed message — one that left some wondering if an attack was imminent. In fact, the danger officials wanted to warn them about wasn't coming from the sky.

It was coming from their taps.

Aerial Associates Photography, Inc. by Zachary Haslic / NOAA

Two Ohio lawmakers who criticized Gov. John Kasich's proposed farm regulations to combat Lake Erie's harmful algae blooms will lead a panel of legislators studying the lake's long-term health.

A 600 mile long algae bloom on the Ohio River in 2015.
Jeff Reutter / Ohio Sea Grant via Flickr

Nearly $600,000 in federal grant money is on its way to improve the early warning system for algal blooms in Lake Erie. The funding will be used to upgrade data gathering and public access to what’s learned.

Aerial Associates Photography, Inc. by Zachary Haslic / NOAA

Gov. John Kasich is fighting for his clean Lake Erie initiative, which includes tougher regulations on Ohio’s number one industry. As Kasich argues, his proposed rules on fertilizer is in everyone’s best interest.

Though the recent rain has helped the Ohio River avert a possible harmful algal bloom, a handful of Greater Cincinnati agencies continue to monitor the river for the presence of the toxic scum-like organism that can potentially kill fish and other wildlife.

Ohio Commission Delays Vote To Tighten Fertilizer Rules

Jul 20, 2018
Wikipedia Commons

A panel largely appointed by Republican Gov. John Kasich has delayed immediate action on his executive order intensifying Ohio's efforts to fight toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie.

tractor in farm field
Jean Beaufort / Public Domain Pictures

Farmers are firing back at Gov. John Kasich’s executive order to implement tougher regulations on fertilizer and other farm runoff. The administration says these new requirements will help keep nutrients from polluting Lake Erie. But farmers argue this creates mandates for a problem they’re already trying to fix.

A docked boat is reflected in the algae-covered water of Lake Erie's Maumee Bay in Oregon, Ohio in this Sept. 15, 2017, file photo.
Paul Sancya / Associated Press

Gov. John Kasich has signed an executive order that could end up creating new regulations on fertilizer used by farms in the western basin of Lake Erie, which he says it will help stop toxic algae blooms from developing.

Smack in the middle of the Florida peninsula, Lake Okeechobee, one of the largest lakes in the U.S., has a nagging problem. Nearly every year now, large blooms of algae form in the lake.

On a recent visit, even Steve Davis, a senior ecologist with the Everglades Foundation, was surprised.

"Oh my gosh," he exclaimed, "look how thick this blue-green mat is right here."

An algae bloom was identified in Lake Erie’s central basin this week, causing increased testing and increased caution at Cleveland’s beaches.

Toxin concentrations were high only one day last week. On Friday, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District detected a concentration of 10ppb (parts per billion) at Edgewater Beach. Ohio’s recreational threshold is 6ppb.

Tests from the sewer district every day since then have shown low levels.

Rep. Smith speaks during Ohio House session on April 11, 2018.
Ohio House

The Ohio General Assembly is on summer break after a flurry of activity that included passage of dozens of bills, many sent to the governor, and a few key proposals left in limbo.

lgae floats in the water at the Maumee Bay State Park marina in Lake Erie in Oregon, Ohio, on Sept. 15, 2017.
Paul Sancya / AP

More than $20 million could soon be pumped into projects that help keep Lake Erie clean. Most of that money would help fund equipment that helps limit nutrient runoff from farmland.

But state leaders and environmental advocates say that’s still not good enough.

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