Third-largest harmful algal bloom could potentially grow in Lake Erie this summer, forecasters say

"With a bloom of this size and scale expected, it is clear that this problem can only be addressed at the source," said Nicholas Mandros of the Ohio Environmental Council. "Toxic algae is primarily caused by agricultural runoff, and Ohio's voluntary approach simply isn't enough to curb the algae-causing pollution flowing into Lake Erie."

Mandros acknowledged that many farmers are working to curb phosphorus runoff, but more farmers need to participate to solve the problem. This requires broad scale conservation practices and only applying the amount of manure and fertilizer that is necessary.

Ohio, Michigan and Ontario have struck an agreement to reduce phosphorus runoff by 40 percent by 2025. But most environmentalists maintain the state proposals for reaching that goal will prove inadequate because they don't provide state laws limiting fertilizer and manure application.

Date Published: 

Thursday, July 13, 2017