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AP: Toxic Algae Blooms Now A Hazard In All States

Nov 20, 2017

Algae blooms in Lake Erie
Credit National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

An Associated Press investigation finds toxic algae blooms have become a serious hazard in all 50 states, making people sick, killing animals and harming the economy.

Yet officials in Ohio and other states rely largely on voluntary farmer cooperation to stem a flood of fertilizers and livestock manure washing into lakes and streams.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has spent more than 1.8 billion dollars on the costliest such program since 2009, sharing costs of steps such as improving irrigation and planting off-season cover crops that prevent erosion. Officials say the practices are working, but acknowledgea small minority of farmers participate. Critics say regulation and more funding are needed.