PORT CLINTON – The annual harmful algal bloom on Lake Erie’s Western Basin has begun.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports a bloom of blue-green algae that could produce toxins is growing in Maumee Bay…
There also is a bloom in the Sandusky Bay, but algae tends to begin growing there early in the season each year, scientists have said.
Locally, recent signs have been erected to warn beach-goers of the dangers of blue-green algae in Lake Erie at East Harbor State Park.
Harmful algae has been a problem on Lake Erie since 2002. Phosphorous from farm runoff and sewer plants fuel the blooms.
Earlier this month, NOAA and scientists from Ohio universities predicted the bloom would not be as bad as it was last year. On a scale of one to 10 with 10 being the worst, they expect the bloom to be a five or six, said Rick Stumpf, oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The blooms tend to start in August.
The algae has created problems for water treatment plants that must remove the toxin algae creates from drinking water. It also threatens Lake Erie’s tourism industry.
Weekly algae updates
NOAA issues a weekly algae bulletin showing where harmful blooms are on the lake. To sign up, visit http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/Centers/HABS/lake_erie_hab/lake_erie_hab.html.
Photo caption: A sign warns beachgoers of the dangers of blue-green algae in Lake Erie at East Harbor State Park.
(Photo: Jessica Denton/News Herald)
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