Wrong kind of green

Lake Erie may see major algal blooms again this summer, Jeff Reutter, director of Ohio State’s Stone Lab and Ohio Sea Grant programs, said last month at a university symposium on climate change. And that’s bad. The blooms threaten, among other things, fish such as walleye, the lake’s $10 billion-a-year tourism industry, and drinking water safety for 3 million Ohioans and 12 million people overall. The Toledo BladeColumbus Dispatch and Crain’s Cleveland Business all reported on the story.

Phosphorus runoff serves as the blooms’ main fuel. Much of Lake Erie’s phosphorus comes from the Maumee River, which enters the lake at Toledo. Much of the river’s phosphorus, meanwhile, comes from fertilizers washed off of farm fields by rain, Reutter said.

CFAES scientists — through the On-Field Ohio project and the big annual Conservation Tillage Conference, for example — continue to work on ways to reduce and prevent this runoff.