Researchers predict Lake Erie will have a significant bloom of toxic blue-green algae in its western basin this summer but say it won't be as large as last year or the record-setting 2011 outbreak.
The forecast was announced Thursday by officials with Ohio State University's Sea Grant Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Algae blooms have become a growing concern among politicians and cities that use the lake for drinking water. Those involved with Lake Erie's tourism and fishing industries are pushing for a solution to the problem. Phosphorus from farm fertilizer runoff and sewage treatment plants feeds the algae, which leave behind harmful toxins. Farm groups in Ohio have asked farmers to take steps to reduce runoff before government regulators impose their own restrictions.