See stunning aerial photos of Lake Erie algal blooms

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.

Lake Erie algal bloom research at risk

A June 14 Great Lakes Today story by Elizabeth Miller said the proposed 2018 federal budget would “cut all federal funding for Sea Grant programs, including Ohio’s.” At risk, among other things, would be crucial health-related research on harmful algal blooms.

Miller, for example, interviewed two Ohio Sea Grant-funded researchers, Stuart Ludsin and CFAES’s Jiyoung Lee, who are trying to determine if toxins produced by harmful algal blooms can get into food — specifically, into fresh vegetables irrigated with bloom-tainted waters and fish such as walleye that swam in such waters.

To stave off, or not, another water crisis

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which, among its work, keeps the air you breathe and water you drink clean, would see the biggest cut — 31 percent — of any federal agency in the White House’s proposed 2018 budget, according to a Reuters story. EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative would be especially hard hit. It faces a 97-percent cut in the proposed budget.

How would those cuts, if approved, hit home? Jeff Reutter, special adviser to Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant program, said in a recent issue of Cleveland Scene, “If we lose the EPA, we lose Lake Erie.”

The lake, among other things, provides drinking water for 3 million Ohioans.

Plant people: Share smarts, grow food, fight hunger

Ohio’s nearly 3,000 Master Gardener Volunteers share their plant-related knowledge with other people, and that knowledge improves, among other things, urban farms and backyard gardens. In turn, those farms and gardens reduce hunger, improve health and create income.

Learn more about the statewide program here. It’s run by CFAES’s outreach arm, OSU Extension, and offers training and volunteering in all 88 of Ohio’s counties.

In Wayne County, for instance, CFAES’s Secrest Arboretum just announced it’s taking applications for its 2017 Master Gardener training course. The deadline to apply is Jan. 27.

But we are neighbors’ children

Young Asian boy, scared and aloneMore than 630,000 Ohio children live in food-insecure households — they aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from. That’s enough to fill Ohio State’s football field, Ohio Stadium, six times over. “One of the biggest misperceptions I’ve seen about hunger in Ohio,” CFAES’s Pat Bebo says, “is that people think it occurs only in very poor households.” Read the story.

Algal bloom effort releases report

Image of algal bloom report 2Ohio Sea Grant, on behalf of Ohio State, the University of Toledo and the Ohio Department of Higher Education, has released the annual report for the first year of funding for the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative (HABRI), which seeks solutions for harmful algal blooms in Ohio. Included are details on 18 new studies; some involve CFAES scientists. Read the press release. Read the report.