The green scum shown in this image is the worst algae bloom Lake Erie has experienced in decades. Vibrant green filaments extend out from the northern shore.
Credit NASA Earth Observatory
Algal blooms are once again causing problems for lakes and streams in Ohio this summer. But farmers are combating the situation, and so far, they’re getting some help from the weather.
When rain falls on farm fields that have been treated with fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus, whatever chemicals haven't soaked deep enough into the soil, or made their way into the crops, can end up in nearby streams and lakes. That runoff is feeding nutrients to harmful algal blooms.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, issued weather warnings this week that are credited with saving lives in Oklahoma. And it, like other government organizations, is dealing with the impact of the federal budget cuts knows as sequestration. The agency reports however, they will still maintain its critical missions.