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NOAA: Algae blooms in Lake Erie on the decline

July 16, 2014
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects significant algae bloom in the western part of Lake Erie this summer but predicts lower levels than last year and a dramatic decline from the 2011 peak.

According to the NOAA's annual forecast on the lake's summer algae bloom, the impact of the harmful cyanobacteria will vary across the lake's western basin this season. The administration classifies the projected impact by estimating the concentration of the algae bloom and how far it spreads.

Lake Erie, which is surrounded by Ohio, New York and Ontario, has seen increasing levels of toxic algae bloom over the past ten years. With the help of partners including Ohio Sea Grant, Ohio State University, Heidelberg University and the University of Toledo, the NOAA has been working to develop advanced tools that are capable of predicting and targeting phosphorus, facilitating the fight against algae and helping to restore balance to Lake Erie, commented U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur.

Lake Erie is particularly vulnerable to algae bloom because of its size, location and topography. It is the smallest and shallowest of the Great Lakes and, even though algae levels are higher in other lakes, the size of Lake Erie means that the algae blooms are more concentrated and as a result are more harmful. Restoring the lake is crucial because it is not only a source of revenue, but also a vital source of drinking water.

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