Algae

DMichaelCollins
dmichaelcollins.com

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The mayor of Toledo has died five days after suffering cardiac arrest while driving during a snowstorm. A city spokeswoman, Stacy Weber, says Mayor D. Michael Collins died Friday at the University of Toledo Medical Center. The 70-year-old Collins was in his first term. He was a former police officer and City Council member.

Satellite view of toxic algal bloom on Lake Erie
NASA Earth Observatory

Toxic blue-green algae blooms, or cyanobacteria, are a growing problem in Ohio’s lakes, and grabbed the attention of the whole country after the bacteria shut down Toledo’s water system last summer.

Senator Sherrod Brown (right) compared algae-filled water with clear water on a recent visit to Stone Lab on Lake Erie. Researcher Justin Chaffin is on the left.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Ohio’s U.S. Senators have introduced two bills that address the problems with toxic microcystins, a result of the bacteria known as blue-green algae, in the state’s waters. Toxins from algal blooms in Lake Erie caused a two-day shutdown of Toledo’s water system in August, and algal blooms have been reported in lakes around the state including Grand Lake St. Mary’s and Buckeye Lake.

Collin O'Mara, President of the National Wildlife Federation, held up a glass of algae-filled water from Lake Erie after the toxins produced by the algae shut down Toledo's water system.
National Wildlife Federation Staff

Nothing brings consensus like a crisis. During Toledo’s recent drinking-water ban, conflicting ideas about how to test for toxins caused confusion for decision-makers, and hat problem sparked rare, swift action by multiple layers of government to create a uniform, statewide protocol.

Full episode of WYSO Weekend for August 4, 2013 including the following stories:

- Officials Differ On Emergency Phone Alert During Yellow Springs Standoff, by Emily McCord

- Cityfolk Cancels 2014 Season, by Jerry Kenney

- Wildlife Boom in Local MetroParks, by Community Voices producer Ron Rollins

State officials say small amounts of harmful blue-green algae have led to testing and a sign warning swimmers not to swallow the water at a western Ohio reservoir.

But an Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman says the toxin levels are not enough to issue a public health advisory for Clarence J. Brown Reservoir in Buck Creek State Park.  The Dayton Daily News reports the park north of Springfield attracts about 380,000 people annually for boating, swimming, fishing and camping.

Officials say testing of the reservoir will continue.

Ohio environmental officials are focusing on six major streams as they try to cut pollutants that help toxic algae thrive in the state's lakes and other waterways.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has for years worked to cut manure and fertilizer runoff from Ohio farms and pollutants from sewage treatment plants that contribute to poisonous blooms of blue-green algae in Lake Erie and Grand Lake St. Marys in western Ohio.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the state EPA will focus on the Scioto, Great Miami, Maumee, Sandusky, Cuyahoga and Wabash rivers.

Algae Treatment at Grand Lake Isn't Working

Oct 15, 2012

A two-year, $8.5 million project to stop toxic algae in Ohio's largest inland lake isn't working.
 
The 13,000-acre Grand Lake St. Marys in western Ohio was sprayed with aluminum sulfate in April that was supposed to keep the blue-green algae from feeding on phosphorous in the water. A similar treatment was applied last year.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that this year's treatment was spoiled by high winds that helped stir phosphorus-rich mud from the lake bottom.

DrGBB

The National Center for Water Quality Research says the mild winter and spring temperatures could mean toxic blue-green algae will make its appearance in western Lake Erie earlier than usual.

Dr. David Baker says the algae will show up sooner if the water heats up more quickly. Another critical factor will be rainfall and the amount of fertilizer that runs into the lake from nearby farms.

The third installment of the SOCHE Talks features Sukh Sidhu, Associate Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Dept., Group Leader of Sustainable Environmental Technologies Group, University of Dayton. Today he talks about practical uses for algae.