Harmful Algae Blooms

NOAA

Lake Erie’s harmful algae bloom season is over for the year, and it wasn’t as bad as scientists expected.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ranks this year’s algae bloom as relatively mild, a 3.6 on the agency’s bloom severity scale. That’s compared to an eight last year.

The forecast in July predicted the bloom would be significant – a six.

Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

Scientists predict a significant harmful algae bloom for western Lake Erie this year.

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. That would be better than last year, but worse than 2016.

NOAA GLERL

An algae bloom was identified in Lake Erie’s central basin this week, causing increased testing and increased caution at Cleveland’s beaches.

Toxin concentrations were high only one day last week. On Friday, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District detected a concentration of 10 parts per billion at Edgewater Beach. Ohio’s recreational threshold is 6 parts per billion.

NOAA

Algae blooms have started in western Lake Erie, and a researchers say the unusually warm weather may make things worse.

Scientists predict the bloom will be smaller than it was last year, when large swaths of the lake were colored a sickly green. But a federal government forecast says it still could be one of the four or five worst blooms since 2002.

Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take action on Ohio’s 2016 list of impaired waters within 30 days.

In his 25-page order, Judge James Carr criticizes both the Ohio EPA and its federal counterpart for refusing to comply with several parts of the Clean Water Act. 

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