Lake Erie Waterkeeper tours the river to learn more about the algal bloom

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Friday members of the Lake Erie Waterkeeper learned more about the river and how it relates to the algal bloom on Lake Erie that caused northwest Ohio's drinking water crisis earlier this month.

On board with the Waterkeeper were several charter boat captains who know the river better than most.

President of the Waterkeeper Dave Spangler says the algal bloom has moved east away from Toledo.

"You could see it all the way around the Bass Islands and it is also between the Bass Islands and Kelly's Island," said Spangler. "So a lot of it has moved that far in that short of a time frame."

But Spangler also says winds can move that algal bloom back to Toledo at any time between now and mid-October.

While on the tour they took samples to check the river's pH levels and phosphorus content which can cause algae to grow.

Spangler says the results show the river's health is not too bad right now.

State Representative Teresa Fedor was also on board for this special tour of the Maumee. She continues to push for this to be declared a distressed watershed. She says she wants Governor Kasich to make the designation to trigger tougher regulations for applying chemicals and fertilizers, which run off into the river and Lake Erie.

"I think it's great to go on a tour and hear from the experts who have been studying it for 20 years," said Representative Fedor. "And I believe we don't need to study it. We know certain actions will make a huge difference."

Representation Fedor says she hasn't heard from the Governor's office yet on her call for the distressed watershed.

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