Scientists Forecast 'Significant' Lake Erie Algae Blooms for This Year

Lake Erie algae outlook better than 2017, researchers say

Lake Erie algae outlook better than 2017, researchers say

"NOAA's Lake Erie forecast affirms the worries of many in northwestern OH that there will be a significant toxic algae bloom this year", Bucher said.

Algae blooms on lakes are becoming an increasing concern nationwide, but Lake Erie has been hit particularly hard over the past decade.

The bloom of cyanobacteria is expected to be smaller than last year's bloom, but more significant than a mild bloom in the summer of 2016, and measure about 6 on the severity index. That's dependent on the wind, according to Winslow.

"You can have a good time on Lake Erie".

The annual forecast event was attended by researchers, OH agency and elected officials, representatives of the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association and agricultural interests.

The forecast, a joint effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Heidelberg University and other partners, predicts a bloom severity of six on a 10-point scale.

Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, are a growing problem in every US coastal and Great Lakes state. Stumpf says boaters can look to NOAA's harmful algae bloom bulletins for a bloom analysis. Lake Erie's largest blooms, in 2011 and 2015, were 10.0 and 10.5, respectively. "Last year, they predicted a seven and it ended up being an eight".

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Ohio's governor announced this week plans to increase regulations on farmers to reduce the fertilizer runoff that feeds the toxic algae. "That's the loading period which will typically signify how bad the harmful algal bloom will be every year". "This executive order is meant to kick those efforts into overdrive".

Kasich is in his last months in office based on term-limits.

"This early start does not change the forecast severity, because the bloom is determined by the amount of phosphorus that goes into the water", said Richard Stumpf, Ph.D., NOAA oceanographer. "There will be areas that'll be good, and right now they are good".

In a press release Thursday, Ohio Farmers Union President Joe Logan said the executive order was "well-intended" but shifts the initiative to a complex web of state agencies and should those agencies decide to take aggressive action, the implications for farmers could be profound.

Pacholski expressed frustration primarily with OH legislators saying that he has been "working with legislators for five or six years now and they have been unwilling to act".

This spring was particularly dry, he says, which helped contain some of the chemicals that typically cause Erie's blooms - which is good news for the people around that lake, but what about other lakes in the region, particularly inland lakes in NY with their own algae problems?

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