Growing Level of Algal Bloom in Lake Erie Stimulates Preventive Actions

Growing Level of Algal Bloom in Lake Erie Stimulates Preventive Actions

Concern over harmful algal bloom in the Lake Erie has led researchers to find reason and time of initiation of the problem in order to deal with the same. Laura Johnson, director of the National Center for Water Quality Research at Heidelberg University, on Wednesday discussed her research with the other panel experts during Toledo Zoo’s first Great Lakes Symposium.

Johnson is responsible for studying the issue of dissolved phosphorus runoff. As per Johnson, algal blooms have occurred before at Lake Erie and were dealt well in the past. “We said, ‘Ok well, it seems like we have a pretty good handle on these point sources of phosphorus. But now the rest of the phosphorus is mostly the non-point sources, the stuff that comes from land runoff. So we should be concerned about that,” said Johnson.

After entering into the water body, phosphorus in presence of favorable factors takes the form algae blooms and contaminates water. There are many ways through which the phosphorus enters into the Lake Erie. Phosphorus commonly discharges from fertilizers, manure and organic waste used in agriculture. It mixes up with runoff water and enters the lake through groundwater passages, sewer overflow discharges, and rain. It also makes its way via soil particles which erode into the lake.

Preventing phosphorus from getting into lake is quite a difficult job. Once it has made into water body. The growth of algal bloom speeds up on reduction of dissolve oxygen in the water body. The process of speeding up nutrient is called eutrophication. The Lake Erie is suitable for eutrophication to take place.

Other consequences of algal bloom have been reported in the past. In 2013, a number of manatees were killed by toxic algae bloom and many other marine creatures fell seriously sick.