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A Statement from the Ohio Environmental Council on NOAA’s 2018 Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast for Lake Erie

David Miller, July 12, 2018

Put-In-Bay, Ohio — Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their 2018 harmful algal bloom prediction for Lake Erie at Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory. Their forecast predicts a smaller bloom than last year but still in a significant area of concern, meaning it must be monitored closely.

The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Peter Bucher, Water Resources Director at the Ohio Environmental Council:

“NOAA’s Lake Erie forecast affirms the worries of many in northwestern Ohio that there will be a significant toxic algae bloom this year. Earlier this year, the Ohio EPA also highlighted the poor state of Lake Erie by designating the western basin impaired for algae and showed the severity of runoff pollution in the watershed.

“Low precipitation levels have been the only thing in recent history that has kept the harmful algal blooms manageable for Lake Erie communities. They shouldn’t have to hope for a dry year to fully trust their drinking water or favorite beach.

“Solving this problem will require voluntary programs, funding, and common sense regulation for agricultural producers. Voluntary programs are in place and the state just recently passed Clean Lake 2020 to fund agricultural best management practices. The state now must build off of Governor Kasich’s executive order that put eight watersheds in distress to build a conservation program for the entire Lake Erie watershed.

“With every passing day, the solutions get more expensive and the problems more complex. It’s time to solve this problem now.”