Lake Erie HABs

Jeff Reutter of the Ohio Sea Grant, gave a nice talk this week on the causes of Lake Erie’s Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), including last weekend’s incident that affected Toledo’s water supply. He’s been focused on this and other issues for four decades and gives great talks.

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7 thoughts on “Lake Erie HABs

    • I hadn’t seen it Clem–many thanks, will read. Zimmer writes good stuff.

      update after reading: using the phrase “The microbes that terrorized Toledo” probably not the best choice. Nobody was terrified or terrorized as far as I know, and it’s not even definite that anybody even got sick from it. I wish he’d at least mentioned that not all blue-green algae produce toxins either.

  1. According to the Columbus Dispatch there were some 69 folks who went to the hospital in Toledo… though it isn’t clear anyone was seriously sick.

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/08/05/algae-may-spur-new-limits-on-fertilizers.html

    The Dispatch is the paper I take, and I have to confess I missed this piece when it was published a week ago. Thanks for the web…

    Worth noting – the final quote in the piece (Dispatch’s content in brackets:

    [People in Toledo are frustrated, said Lisa Ward, a spokeswoman for the city. Ward said preventing algal blooms in Lake Erie will take both federal and international regulations because other states and Canada contribute to pollutants in the lake.

    The silver lining from the weekend’s crisis, she said, is that the world is finally watching.

    “Nobody got hurt; nobody got seriously sick,” Ward said. “And it’s going to bring attention. People aren’t going to be able to ignore this anymore.”]

    Amen

    • I think The Blade reported something like 100 and that some had nausea and some other symptoms but I doubt they’re ever going to know the exact causes thereof. Also, it required a happening in Toledo for everybody to really sit up: last year’s water use ban in Carroll Township (just to the east in Ottawa County) went largely unnoticed and didn’t seem to result in much practical change at water treatment facilities as far as I know (but I could be wrong on that too). Interestingly, their intake point, and Toledo’s, are only about a mile apart, and yet there was no ban in Carroll Township during the recent Toledo incident.

  2. What can you do ?

    This comes under the category of man-meets-nature-and loses. The kind of situation that CAN be remediated but won’t be because of politics and economics. There are so many the mind boggles; just look at Fukushima.

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