UT expert: Algae a long-term problem for Lake Erie - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

UT expert: Algae a long-term problem for Lake Erie

(Toledo News Now) -

It's green, it's gooey and it is nasty: Algae has taken over parts of Lake Erie, especially near the Toledo water intake crib. 

Over the last decade or so, experts have seen algae blooms grow in size along with the length of time they exist on the lake.  Those are a few of the problems which led to a widespread water ban in northwest Ohio and parts of Michigan.

"Over the last month or so we've had very little rain and very little wind so the algae bloom has been allowed to sit and expand in the shallow water of the western basin of Lake Erie," said Dr. Patrick Lawrence of the University of Toledo. "And as it does that, then there is the opportunity to release more toxins."

Dr. Lawrence says that at the root of this problem is runoff from area farms and lawns, as well as waste water from treatment plants - all that feeds the algae blooms.  Now that this crisis has received national attention and even international attention, Lawrence is hopeful that something will be done soon.

"Collectively, it's going to take large action by a lot of people for a long-term solution to this problem," he said.

Captain Mike Lis is out on the lake nearly every day with his charter boat.  He's someone who has experienced the good and the bad with this lake.

"The lake back in the 60s was called the dead lake," said Lis. "We revived it by taking away the toxins that we dumped in the lake and brought the lake back to a wonderful recreational area."

Health experts say the fish in the lake have not been affected by the algae.  

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