Algae

Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

Pollution and other problems plague areas all over the Great Lakes region. And they can make drinking or swimming dangerous.  There’s plenty of blame to go around for this – city water utilities, agriculture, and politicians to name a few.

Now an unlikely industry has joined the search for solutions -- technology is taking on Lake Erie.


National Park Service

Across the Great Lakes, 2016 brought a lot of conflict, with battles over water diversion, petroleum pipelines and other issues.  


Elizabeth Miller

Tuesday, a coalition of Great Lakes organizations sent a notice of intent to sue the U.S. EPA.  They say the agency isn’t moving fast enough to clean up Lake Erie.

The filing from conservation, environmental, and boating groups is the latest effort to designate western Lake Erie as an “impaired” body of water. 

Annie Wu

Thursday, Michigan designated its portion of Lake Erie as “impaired,” a move applauded by environmental groups in Michigan and Ohio.

In a statement, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) says algal blooms and high phosphorus levels led to the designation.  The agency monitored and analyzed the blooms, concluding that the basin does not meet Michigan’s water quality standards.

NASA

 

An analysis out this week from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that algae blooms were "fewer, less dense, and less toxic" this year than in 2014 or 2015.

That's good news for the region, because the blooms can cause sickness in people and animals. They also can create problems in treating drinking water.

Pages