Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Senator: Algal-bloom forecast for Lake Erie Basin 'incredibly troubling'

Scientists are expecting heavy algal blooms this summer in the Western Lake Erie Basin. | Courtesy of Shutterstock
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) issued a statement on Thursday in response to scientists' predictions of heavy algal blooms in the Western Lake Erie Basin.

An algal bloom is a dramatic increase in algae growth in a body of water. For Lake Erie, the organism in question is cyanobacteria, which is considered to be toxic to humans, and basin is a major source of drinking water.

Science Daily said many algal blooms are the result of an excess of available nutrients, specifically nitrogen and phosphorus in the water and surrounding land.

“Today’s prediction that we can expect severe algal blooms in the Western Lake Erie Basin this summer is incredibly troubling and a stark reminder that harmful algal blooms remain a threat to our state,” Portman said. “State, local and federal officials, as well as leaders in industry and agriculture, must continue to work together to guard against another incident like we had in Toledo last year. We need to continue to do everything in our power to improve the ecosystem of the lake and end the threat of harmful algal blooms.”

Researchers place the severity index for the Lake Erie Basin at 8.7 on a 10-point scale. In 2014, this number was 6.5.

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U.S. Senator Rob Portman 312 Walnut Street Cincinnati, OH - 45202

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