Good news for Lake Erie: Algae blooms will be mild this summer

Scientists on Thursday said the toxic algae blooms that have plagued Lake Erie for much of the past decade will be mild this summer. This is great news for the health of the lake and the region’s $10 billion tourism economy.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory released its first ever forecast for toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie. Go here to read the forecast.

Last year, a record-sized bloom of toxic algae covered much of the western basin of Lake Erie with a layer of thick, fluorescent green slime. The bloom hurt the lake’s perch and walleye fisheries and tourism.

Excessive phosphorus draining off the landscape fuels the toxic algae blooms.

Scientists said a dry spring this year will mean a smaller algae bloom later this summer. But they warned that there is still too much phosphorus washing into the lake and that a wet spring in 2013 could result in another huge toxic algae bloom next summer. So Lake Erie isn’t out of the woods yet.

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