Boosting BMPs

What’s keeping some farmers from changing their fertilization practices—changes aimed at reducing nutrient runoff and improving Lake Erie’s water quality? Skepticism more than anything else, CFAES behavioral scientist Robyn Wilson said in a recent story.

What’s the solution? Wilson speaks on the subject (“Designing Policies and Programs to Increase BMP Adoption Rates”) Sept. 12 at the Understanding Algal Blooms: State of the Science conference in Toledo. Registration runs through Sept. 6.

They’re turning things bluer and greener

Thirteen Ohio boat marinas earned Ohio Clean Marinas certification for their environmental efforts in 2018. Read the story.

The Ohio Clean Marinas Program is a partnership between Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant program and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Find out more. (Photo: Lake Erie off of Cleveland, Getty Images.)

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.)

And so, unfortunately, they begin

Today’s Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Bulletin, published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), reports the presence of a Microcystis cyanobacteria bloom extending from Maumee Bay near Toledo about 13 miles north along the Michigan coast and 15 miles east along the Ohio coast. A persistent bloom in Sandusky Bay, the bulletin reports, is continuing.

You can learn more about NOAA’s harmful algal bloom forecasts here, and you can sign up to get bulletins about them (every couple of days or so from July to October) by clicking the blue “Subscribe” button. Details in the bulletins, which include the locations of blooms and three-day forecasts, can be used to plan your activities at Lake Erie.

NOAA last week predicted that western Lake Erie will experience significant harmful algal bloom levels this summer.

Research ‘vital’ in algal bloom fight

This year’s extremely wet spring “has shed light on the movement of nutrients from the land into Lake Erie,” Chris Winslow, director of Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory programs, said at yesterday’s announcement of the harmful algal bloom forecast for western Lake Erie. (You can watch the event here.)

“Despite the predicted size of this year’s bloom, portions of the lake will be algae-free during the bloom season, and the lake will remain a key asset for the state,” Winslow said. “Ongoing research continues to help us understand bloom movement and toxin production, and remains vital to providing our water treatment facilities with the tools, technology, and training they need to keep our drinking water safe.”

Read about CFAES’ ongoing efforts to help fight Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms. (Photo: Marblehead lighthouse, Getty Images.)

How will Lake Erie’s algal bloom rate?

This summer’s harmful algal bloom in western Lake Erie is expected to measure 7.5 on the severity index, but could possibly range between 6 and 9, according to the forecast released yesterday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

To compare, last year’s bloom was 3.6, 2017’s was 8.0, while the record bloom in 2015 was 10.5.

Read Ohio Sea Grant’s press release about the announcement.

Watch the announcement event above.

‘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.