The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

July 5, 2013

Scientists forecast larger Lake Erie algae bloom

GIBRALTAR ISLAND — Experts are predicting the toxic blue-green algae outbreak in the western basin of Lake Erie this summer will be more significant than last year but much smaller than the bloom that blanketed about two-thirds of the lake two summers ago.

The forecast predicts a “significant bloom” in that part of the lake will begin in August. But it’s expected to be about one-fifth the size of the 2011 bloom that hampered tourism and drew headlines as one of the worst on record.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administra-tion, which bases its algae forecast in large part on the amount of rain that falls on farms in Erie’s drainage basin, presented the forecast Tuesday at Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island, near Put-in-Bay. In Ohio, the drainage basin includes the Maumee and Sandusky rivers.

“People will notice there’s a bloom in some areas,” said Rick Stumpf, NOAA’s algae modeler and forecaster. “You need to at least plan to work around this.”

The algae growth is fed by phosphorous from fertilizer runoff and other sources, producing bacteria that can kill animals and sicken humans.

The forecast from state and federal experts for Lake Erie’s recurring summer algae problems calls for a bloom that could cover 300 square miles across the lake’s western basin.

That’s nearly twice as large as last summer’s bloom but about one-fifth the size of the bloom that covered 1,600 square miles from Toledo to Cleveland in 2011.

The algae produce liver and nerve toxins that can not only sicken people and kill pets and wildlife but also take a bite out of the lake’s annual $11.5 billion annual tourism industry. Algae also help create an oxygen-depleted zone in the center of the lake where fish can’t survive.

Melinda Huntley, executive director of the Ohio Travel Association, said lake-based tourism and recreation supports 117,000 full-time jobs, or 9.8 percent of the employment in eight counties.

“What’s at risk is a huge economic engine,” Huntley said.

A voluntary plan encourages farmers to limit fertilizer use. Larry Antosch, environmental policy director for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, said farmers are getting the message that they need to reduce phosphorus pollution.

The problem has led officials to consider tougher rules on agriculture for years.

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • Planes with Ukraine bodies arrive in Netherlands

    Two more military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the crash site which has been controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

    July 24, 2014

  • UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

    A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children’s clothing scattered in the courtyard.

    July 24, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali

    An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation disaster in a week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Troubled childhoods may prompt men to volunteer for military service

    In the era of the all-volunteer U.S. military, men who served are more than twice as likely as those who never did to have been sexually abused as children and to have grown up around domestic violence and substance abuse, a new study has found.

    July 24, 2014

  • As poverty continues to rise, fewer Ohioans are receiving state aid

    The number of Ohioans receiving public assistance continues to drop even while poverty increases, raising questions about how the state helps the poor.

    July 24, 2014

  • ’Saltwater’ from fracking spill much different from ocean water

    In early July, a million gallons of salty drilling waste spilled from a pipeline onto a steep hillside in western North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Reservation. The waste — a byproduct of oil and gas production — has now reached a tributary of Lake Sakakawea, which provides drinking water to the reservation.

    July 24, 2014

  • 40 bodies from jet solemnly returned to Dutch soil

    Victims of the Malaysian jetliner shot down over Ukraine returned at last Wednesday to Dutch soil in 40 wooden coffins, solemnly and gently carried to 40 identical hearses, flags at half-staff flapping in the wind.

    July 23, 2014

  • U.S. pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

    The United States announced signs of progress in cease-fire talks Wednesday, but prospects for a quick end to the fighting were dim as Palestinian families fled fierce battles in southern Gaza and the death toll rose to more than 700 Palestinians and 34 Israelis.

    July 23, 2014

  • GROUNDED U.S., other countries ban flights to and from Israel

    A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel’s main airport, prompting a ban on all flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot down over Ukraine.

    July 23, 2014

  • REPORT: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

    A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California. In Pennsylvania, a doctor was removed from clinical work after complaining that on-call doctors were refusing to go to a VA hospital in Wilkes-Barre.

    July 22, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video