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Climate researchers expect mild algal bloom in Lake Erie

Climate researchers expect mild algal bloom in Lake Erie

Ohio State’s climatologist says the wet spring has led to an increase in algal blooms in Lake Erie.

Aaron Wilson says Lake Erie will likely experience a mild algal bloom for the rest of the year.

“Farmers’ fields are full of nutrients,” he says. “When there is extremely heavy rainfall or a lot of rain gets into our waterways, those nutrients can be washed out. That obviously plays a role in the formation of these harmful algal blooms.”

Wilson tells Brownfield…

“If you think back to April, it was a very wet month across much of the state, especially in northwest Ohio. In Toledo, for example, April was the wettest April on record,” he says.

He says water quality has improved in recent years, but farmers should continue to implement water conservation measures.

Lake Erie Commission reports show a downward trend in dissolved reactive phosphorus levels in the western Lake Erie Basin since 2015. The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration estimates that the peak of the algal bloom is expected to reach an index of 5. Final statistics will be released in September.

AUDIO: Aaron Wilson, Ohio State Climatologist