(Toledo News Now) - The water crisis last month put Lake Erie's algal bloom at the forefront of many Ohioans minds. On Friday, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, toured Ohio State University's Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie, where he met with scientists to discuss efforts to improve the water quality.
Sen. Brown the water not only needs to be safe to drink, but safe for those who visit the area for water entertainment.
"This lake provides tens of thousands of jobs for Ohio, from Ashtabula to Lucas County, and we've got to make sure that this lake stays in as pristine form as possible," he said.
A quarter of Ohio's tourism revenue comes from the eight counties that border Lake Erie.
"If we look at the economic impact from those eight counties, in 2013 it was $12.9 billion and it supported more than 119,000 equivalent jobs - and that's just eight of Ohio's 88 counties. So, that is a testament to the power of Lake Erie," said Larry Fletcher, director of tourism for Ottawa County.
According to Christopher Winslow, the associate director at Stone Laboratory, researchers at OSU are working on ways the university can put dollars and time into Lake Erie's algae problem.
"You'll see in the near future a lot of mobilization from faculty researchers at Ohio State University pull together a concerted effort, and it won't just be Ohio State University," said Winslow. "We'll be looking for partners from other Ohio universities to come together and figure out how can we address this collectively."
See more coverage of the Toledo water crisis and Lake Erie algae here.