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Toxic Algae Worsening in Lake Erie
Scientists at the Great Lakes Week conference in Detroit have reported that this August’s toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie was the worst since the early 1960s. The worsening algae blooms are thought to result from phosphorus, levels of which are reported to have been increasing in the lake since the mid-1990’s.
The algae shows up in the spring and lasts into late summer or early fall. The dead algae then sinks to the bottom of the lake, where the decomposition process pulls available oxygen out of the water, creating a large dead zone in the lake. The toxic algae can be harmful to people and animals that come into contact with it. The State of Ohio and U.S. EPA have set up a web site with additional information on harmful algae blooms in Ohio waters.