Report details gaps in U.S. harmful algal bloom monitoring

By on October 18, 2013

The 2011 Lake Erie algal bloom covered much of the lake's western basin (Credit: NASA)

A report released in September on harmful algal blooms in the United States details a lack of consistency between state and federal agencies in monitoring blooms.

Members of Resource Media and the National Wildlife Federation, who wrote the report for Toxic Algae News, called the state by state monitoring programs “haphazard.”

They highlight the fact that some states, such as New York, have intensive algae monitoring programs. Other states, like Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky, have no state monitoring programs, but work with federal agencies, citizens or researchers.

The only freshwater system federally monitored for toxic algae is Lake Erie.

Several possible solutions conclude the report, including pollution limits, infrastructure improvements and even passing a Farm Bill requiring cover crops and water treatment wetlands.

Image: The 2011 Lake Erie algal bloom covered much of the lake’s western basin (Credit: NASA)

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