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Researchers project Lake Erie algae won't be as bad as last year


Researchers are projecting the cyanobacterial bloom in the western basin of Lake Erie won’t be as bad as last year.

Last year’s severity index was at 6.8. Rick Stumpf with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says this year’s severity is expected to be around three.

“And that’s a smaller than average bloom, we expect.” said Stumpf.

There are a lot of factors in whether the harmful algal bloom is widespread or not. Some of the limiting factors this year are the lower amount of rain this spring and early summer as well as cooler temperatures. Less rain means less fertilizer was washed into the lake.

There will still be cyanobacterial blooms and Stumpf warned to keep yourself, your kids, and your dog out of the scum-like blooms or anywhere the water looks green. The blooms can release a toxin that damages the liver.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.