Hear the latest in algal bloom science

The fourth annual Understanding Algal Blooms: State of the Science conference, featuring new findings on algal blooms and multiple speakers from CFAES, is set for Sept. 12 in Toledo.

Find full details and register. The deadline to register is Sept. 4. (Photo: Lake Erie algal bloom, Jeff Reutter, Ohio Sea Grant, via Flickr.)

‘Significant’ Lake Erie algal bloom forecast

In a forecast presented today at Ohio State’s Stone Laboratory at Put-in-Bay, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its partners are predicting a “significant” harmful algal bloom in western Lake Erie this summer. Read Ohio Sea Grant’s press release about the forecast.

Filter removes up to 75 percent of phosphorus

CFAES scientists are testing a filter that could take out up to 75 percent of the phosphorus in farm field runoff.

Why it’s important: Phosphorus in farm field runoff is a driver of harmful algal blooms, such as those plaguing western Lake Erie. Reducing that phosphorus could limit the blooms and by doing so help improve water quality.

Read the story.

Better ways to prevent algal blooms

From a press release today by Ohio State science writer Misti Crane: “Predicting and pinpointing which farming practices are most likely to protect against environmental harm is a complex proposition, and researchers at The Ohio State University are working to fine-tune the tools that could help farmers and others prevent harmful algal blooms.” The researchers are with CFAES, and you can read the full story here.

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.)

Algal bloom conference in Toledo

Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant program hosts the third annual Understanding Algal Blooms: State of the Science Conference — featuring scientists’ latest findings about algal blooms, their causes and the best ways to prevent them — on Sept. 13 in Toledo. Experts from CFAES will be among the dozen or so speakers. Continue reading

Algae forecast to be announced July 12

Last year’s Lake Erie algal bloom was the third-largest on record, according to scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Ohio Sea Grant, a program based at Ohio State.

So how are things looking for this summer?

On July 12, CFAES’s Stone Lab, shown here, located at Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie, will host a media briefing at which NOAA experts will announce their forecast. Get details and find links to register to attend in person and by webinar. (Photo: Lisa Rice, Ohio Sea Grant.)

This could be the No. 1 way to keep phosphorus out of Lake Erie

The cheapest, most cost-effective way to reduce the phosphorus getting into Lake Erie is by taxing farmers on their purchase of the nutrient or by paying them not to use it on their fields. That’s according to a study by Shaohui Tang and Brent Sohngen, both of CFAES’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics.

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