Lake Erie

NOAA Forecast Calls For ‘Significant' Harmful Algal Blooms In Lake Erie

Environmental groups sounded the alarm over the forecast, calling the bloom outlook "severe."

"With a bloom of this size and scale expected, it is clear that this problem can only be addressed at the source," said Nicholas Mandros, regional coordinator with the Ohio Environmental Council. "Toxic algae is primarily caused by agricultural runoff, and Ohio's voluntary approach simply isn't enough to curb the algae-causing pollution flowing into Lake Erie."

Third-largest harmful algal bloom could potentially grow in Lake Erie this summer, forecasters say

"With a bloom of this size and scale expected, it is clear that this problem can only be addressed at the source," said Nicholas Mandros of the Ohio Environmental Council. "Toxic algae is primarily caused by agricultural runoff, and Ohio's voluntary approach simply isn't enough to curb the algae-causing pollution flowing into Lake Erie."

Algae bloom concerns: Survey of Lake Erie shows it could keep some out of the water

Environmentalists say voluntary measures in Ohio, Michigan, New York and Canada to cut back aren't working.

“The situation is getting worse and so we're calling for a lot of common sense things that a lot of small-time farmers are implementing. It's just those big industrial farms aren't hitting on this yet; they're skirting around it," Max Schaefer with Ohio Environmental Council said.

The Trump Administration takes aim at programs that protect our drinking water

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will release their 2017 Lake Erie forecast tomorrow. Early forecasts predict Lake Erie may see severe growths of toxic algae this summer.

In 2015, Governor Kasich committed Ohio to a 40% reduction in phosphorus pollution by 2025. Science shows this goal is necessary to prevent toxic algae and foster a healthy Lake Erie. Ohio has a lot of work to do to meet that goal, and the data reflected in the NOAA forecast helps us determine our progress.

How NW Ohio farmers are trying to shrink Lake Erie toxic algal blooms

"I know there are farmers out there doing good things, and they should be applauded," said Kristy Meyer, managing director of Natural Resources at the Ohio Environmental Council.

"But they're not doing it on the scale necessary to make a significant difference in the water quality being discharged into Lake Erie. They need to do much more."

Ohio needs common sense regulations, Meyer said. Too many farmers run their fields the way their families have run them for generations, without applying smart conservation practices, she said.

How Ohio farmers are trying to shrink Lake Erie toxic algal blooms

"I know there are farmers out there doing good things, and they should be applauded," said Kristy Meyer, managing director of Natural Resources at the Ohio Environmental Council.

"But they're not doing it on the scale necessary to make a significant difference in the water quality being discharged into Lake Erie. They need to do much more."

Ohio needs common sense regulations, Meyer said. Too many farmers run their fields the way their families have run them for generations, without applying smart conservation practices, she said.

As Lake Erie algae season looms, Michigan punts on new farm rules

On the other side, Ohio Environmental Council natural resources director Kristy Meyer says "common sense" regulations are a better approach than voluntary measures. Her group thinks farmers should have to test their soil to ensure they aren't using too much fertilizer.

The OEC wants to see tighter regulations on large farms that fall just under the animal unit threshold to require a discharge permit.

Nonetheless, she's pessimistic Ohio will call for new regulations.

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