The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s draft 2018 water quality report, released yesterday, includes a proposal to designate western Lake Erie as impaired for recreation (due to harmful algal blooms) and for drinking water (due to the microcystin toxin that is sometimes produced by those blooms). Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab programs today published an FAQ about the designation to help answer people’s questions.
“We’re trying to find solutions to move the health of Lake Erie in the right direction, but at the same time, keep the ag industry vibrant,” said Chris Winslow, director of Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory programs, quoted in a March 16 story in the Port Clinton News Herald. He was speaking at the Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual Agricultural Community Breakfast on March 15, and was referring to the issue of agricultural phosphorus runoff, a cause of the harmful algal blooms plaguing Lake Erie and other water bodies. Scientists with Ohio Sea Grant, CFAES, and other agencies and institutions are working to find ways to reduce that runoff.
The Ohio Phosphorus Risk Index, an online planning tool for farmers, and a help for trying to reduce the phosphorus getting into Lake Erie, is being revised through the efforts of a scientist from CFAES.
The Ohio Department of Higher Education has awarded $3.5 million in funding for 21 more projects in its ongoing Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative. Some involve scientists from CFAES.
CFAES’s second annual Precision University will show farmers new ways to apply fertilizer that (1) keep it from running off the land, getting into water and possibly feeding harmful algal blooms; and (2) give them more bang for their fertilizer buck.
Harmful algal blooms in rivers and streams are neither well-understood nor easily predicted, and CFAES researchers are hoping to change that. (Photo: Study leader Mazeika Sullivan in the Olentangy River by Ken Chamberlain, CFAES.)
Jeff Reutter, special advisor to Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant program, and Jay Martin, a CFAES ecological engineer, commented on Ohio’s recently released Domestic Action Plan 1.0 in a Nov. 19 Columbus Dispatch story. The new plan is part of a bi-national effort to fight Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms.
— WOSU News (@wosunews) September 19, 2017
NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory has posted some stunning aerial photos, taken Sept. 20, of a harmful algal bloom in western Lake Erie. You can see more, too, from Sept. 14 (the fifth one down, among many, may smack your gob) and Aug. 14.