New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates that parts of western Lake Erie will suffer toxic blue-green algal blooms this summer that will threaten public health and hurt the economy, The Blade has reported.
The majority of blooms develop when nutrient-loaded water increases in temperature during the summer. Nutrients in the western part of the lake stem mostly from phosphorus derived from agricultural runoff, sewage overflows and lawn fertilizers.
The toxic blooms threaten to have negative impacts on the economy of the state if beaches need to be closed to protect public health. The Ohio Travel Association estimates that the blooms could detract from the $11.5 billion that eight northern Ohio counties generate from lake tourism and recreation.
Credit: The 2011 algal bloom in Lake Erie from Kelley’s Island. (Credit: T. Joyce/NOAA GLERL)