BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Bowling Green State University has found a way to get more people involved in tracking harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.

The research team at BGSU working on monitoring and studying Lake Erie toxic algae has been awarded portions of a competitive federal grant from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

The funds will allow them to purchase 12 to 14 MBio HAB Toxin Systems.

These field devices, smaller than a tissue box, can precisely measure toxin levels and upload the data via a smartphone app in 30 minutes.

The plan is to train citizen partners who are regularly out on the lake to use the equipment.

With the additional data points, the hope is to eventually develop and verify a forecast model for algal bloom toxicity.

"We have citizens who are out on the lake almost every day, whether it's charter boat captains, beach managers, water treatment plant managers; and we can significantly expand the amount of data we collect using these machines," said Dr. Timothy Davis of BGSU. 

The community partners will be trained on how to use the MBio units next spring. The expectation is to have them out in the field collecting samples next summer.

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