A deeper look at elevated phosphorus

Some farm fields have more phosphorus than their crops need. Called elevated phosphorus fields, such fields may be at higher risk of contributing to Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms.

That’s the premise of a new five-year study, based in northwest Ohio’s Maumee River watershed, that hopes to better understand those fields. How much phosphorus, an algal bloom-fueling nutrient, runs off of them? What are the best ways to limit that runoff while also maintaining yields?

CFAES scientist Jay Martin is leading the study, which is partnering with some of the watershed’s nutrient service providers and farmers.

Read the full story. (Photo: Getty Images.)

Are harmful algal blooms making people sick?

The 2018 Environmental Film Series sponsored by CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources continues tonight, Monday, Nov. 5, with “Toxic Puzzle,” a look at how harmful algal blooms may be affecting human health, specifically as possible triggers for Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Watch the trailer above.

Continue reading

New algal bloom effort has CFAES partners

Toledo Blade writer Tom Henry recently reported on Bowling Green State University’s new Lake Erie Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health. The center aims, he wrote, “to greatly expand how scientists investigate harmful algal blooms.”

Nine other universities and institutions, including Ohio State and its Ohio Sea Grant program, are cooperating with Bowling Green on the center.

Justin Chaffin, research coordinator for CFAES’s Stone Laboratory, will be one of the scientists involved with the center.

Working to clean up Lake Erie

The tweet above references the first hearing of the Toward a Cleaner Lake Erie Working Group, a bipartisan effort aimed at discussing ways to fight Lake Erie’s algal blooms. It took place at the Ohio Statehouse Tuesday.

Cathann A. Kress, as you may know, is CFAES’s dean. You can follow her on Twitter at @cathannkress.

Chris Winslow, director of Ohio Sea Grant and CFAES’s Stone Lab on Lake Erie, also spoke at the hearing.

What does it mean that Lake Erie’s ‘impaired’?

(Photo: Lake Erie algal bloom at Pelee Island, Ontario, 2009, by Tom Archer, Michigan Sea Grant, via Flickr.)

The Environmental Professionals Network, a statewide professional group organized by CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, holds its first monthly breakfast program of the 2018-19 academic year, “The Lake Erie Impairment Designation: What Does It Mean and What Can We Learn from Other Watersheds?” from 7:15-9:30 a.m. Sept. 11 on Ohio State’s Columbus campus.

Continue reading

Seein’ you wherever I go … or not

Walleye and the smaller fish they eat “struggle to see in water clouded by algae, and that could potentially jeopardize the species’ future if harmful algal blooms persist.” So said a story by Ohio State science writer Misti Crane, reporting on a study led by CFAES scientist Suzanne Gray.

Algal blooms, like those in Lake Erie, can turn the water green.

Also: Read an earlier, delightful interview with Gray.

Algal blooms threaten ponds, small lakes, too

Algal blooms aren’t just a problem for high-profile bodies of water, such as Lake Erie, they pose “serious, toxic threats in small ponds and lakes as well.” That’s according to a recent study led by Jiyoung Lee, who has a partial appointment with CFAES, and a story about the study by Ohio State science writer Misti Crane. Read the story. (Photo: Getty.)