This summer’s harmful algal bloom in Lake Erie was twice as severe as last year’s—7.3 compared to 3.6, respectively, on a severity index of 1–10—and was slightly less than 2017’s, which was rated at 8. That’s according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a Nov. 4 story on cleveland.com. Chris Winslow, director of Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory, was quoted in the story.
Efforts continue to fight the lake’s blooms
The severity rating was close to NOAA’s forecast of 7.5 that was announced in July.
Research shows that Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms are largely caused by phosphorus runoff from farm fields. Phosphorus, which is a nutrient needed by crops to grow well, is present in fertilizer and manure.
Efforts continue—at CFAES and by other researchers in Ohio—to develop ways to cut phosphorus runoff while keeping farm fields productive.