Severe Harmful Algae Bloom Likely for Lake Erie
Based on early forecasts by NOAA, conditions look likely for there to be a harmful algae bloom along West Lake Erie. The NOAA scientists are forecasting that the algae bloom will most likely exceed the severity of the last year. This boom in algae is caused by excess phosphorous in the water provided by the runoff into the lake. This excess phosphorous is mostly due to runoff from the Maumee River. This algae bloom isn’t forecasted to be as severe as 2015 was. Impacts are mostly seen in Ohio, but can stretch to Southeast Michigan as well.
A Flashback to the Algae Bloom of 2014/15
Back in 2015, the largest case of harmful algae on record impacted Lake Erie. This bloom covered over 300 sq miles of the Lake and left a thick scum wherever it covered. The 2015 bloom stayed more towards the center of Lake Erie, so the impacts were less severe. Even though the bloom the year before was smaller, it was closer to the Western shore. This left over 400,000 people without clean drinking water in Toledo, OH.
With this years harmful algae bloom predicting that it’ll be closer to the Western shore, this may cause issues with drinking water yet again. But it is still far too early to tell what the impacts may be. Many blooms can get very bad. Lake Erie is not the only area that has had issues with too much harmful algae.
Additional information about toxic algae can be found here
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