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Massive algae blooms threaten Lake Erie

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posted on Oct, 10 2009 @ 01:31 PM
Here we go again.
I remember when Lake Erie was stinky and polluted at trip to the shoreline was out of the question.
Then, we cleaned up our act and the water got much better.

Lake Erie's shore line is again polluted, this time with gobs and gobs of green gooky algae, and this timne one of the algae forms is toxic.

Lake Erie is under attack from algae in a way not seen since the late 1960s and early 1970s. And this is more than just an aesthetic problem. Among the species of algae that are fouling beaches, harming wildlife and threatening drinking water is a toxic form that has scientists around the lake scrambling to control it.

That form -- known as Microcystis or blue-green algae -- is prevalent enough to be seen by from space as it clogs parts of the western half of Lake Erie. More than 25 miles of the lake's coastline is in Michigan and most of Metro Detroit falls in the Lake Erie watershed.

Now, we pour a lot of phosphorus into our water via fertilizers.
The article blames farmers, but I think it's also because we just have to have the GREENEST lawn on the block.
How many houses do you see with lawn care companies applying commercial fertilizers to residential lawns?
(Yes, I know some communities have banned the phosphorus and the organic fertilizers tend to have less or no phosphorus. Even Scotts has a no phosphorus product.)

They don't know for sure the cause of the bloom.
Factors other than fertilizers may be involved in this outbreak. These include, the Detroit River, frequent dredging, and the zebra mollusk.

I know that the canals on the east shore of Lake St Clair are also clogged with the green slime.
The article says othe area lakes, like Lake Huron, are having algae issues.

posted on Oct, 10 2009 @ 02:15 PM
This is awful how they treat one of the world's largest local freshwater reserves, belonging to both countries. .

It'll take about 77 years by the latest EPA estimates to clean the Great Lakes,
which are still polluted and producing these awful algae blooms which I think are created by companies dumping manure in the lakes, either directly or indirectly or who are not doing anything to prevent leaching of manure into freshwater reservoirs.

Manure feeds the algae and there are lots of farms in close proximity to the Great Lakes.

I assume the old 1700-1800's organic homesteading days of families owning thin strips of land along riversides and lakes to share the freshwater resources are long gone and most are owned by very few big multinational farmers who farm chemically and waste the manure.

These companies are destroying the ecosystem and water resources, and therefore must be relieved of control of the area- forcibly if necessary, and restoration of organic practices that at least do not introduce unnatural elements into the lake.

The days of direct dumping into the lakes are gone as far as I know but unnatural element contamination still comes in indirectly- by rivers and soil and wind, into the water we drink.

posted on Oct, 10 2009 @ 02:45 PM
reply to post by DontTreadOnMe

i used to play along those shorelines as a chil dbefore moving away with the family. this is horrible news, i have some great memories of that area.

also, this is sad in that this may be happening at other lakes and rivers across the globe.

posted on Oct, 10 2009 @ 03:16 PM
They should farm the Algae and produce ethanol for our cars to burn clean energy! Remember, most cars can burn 85 percent alcohol and 15 percent gasoline. This would help our environment.

posted on Oct, 10 2009 @ 05:09 PM
reply to post by ShadoMan
That's a great idea! Turn lemons into lemonade

How would they collect the algae, which appears to be concentrated mostly in the western basin from what I've read. Average depth in the Western basin is 25 feet, and populated by Walleye fish.

They definitely should invest more resources in farming these algae fields unless it would be too damaging to the existing life in these areas... Even in a fish tank, you remove the excess algae manually to keep the tank from becoming too hostile for fish because of excess algae levels.

Seems excess phosphorus from farms is to blame for this.

The overall plan should be to cut down on these phosphorus levels so the algae levels go down naturally.

One other threat other than the zebra mussels (Even if they are best at increasing water clarity and reducing pollution and are tasty as well) is the Eurasian watermilfoil, an invasive plant that displaces native plants and is an plant with more disadvantages than advantages, milfoil also increases algal bloom.

I've swam in lakes with no milfoil and it was much more enjoyable than swimming in lakes with disgusting milfoil infestations... Having your legs entangled in a bed of milfoil isn't the greatest feeling in the world.

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