Last August, nearly half a million Toledo-area residents couldn’t drink or even use their water. All because harmful
algae bloom in Lake Erie resulted in the water being unsafe to use for several days.
Lake Erie isn’t the only Great Lake having harmful algae blooms—Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Ontario all
have the blue-green algae blues.
Nearly every summer for the past 10 years, Green Bay in Lake Michigan has had algae blooms that create dead zones or areas without adequate oxygen, harming fish and other water dwellers.
Even the shoreline of the near pristine Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Lake Michigan experienced huge
amounts of dead algae in the near shore area. This has been a breeding ground for toxic algae resulting in avian botulism and hundreds of loons and other waterfowl dying.
Lakes Huron and Ontario are not exempt from the impacts of phosphorus pollution: both lakes have experienced beach closings and loss of tourism dollars in recent years due to nuisance algae blooms.
On a positive note, we know the solution to getting our lakes back to being blue. Reducing phosphorus pollution can help solve the problem.
Leaders from Michigan, Ohio and Ontario signed an agreement to significantly reduce phosphorus pollution over the
next 10 years to Lake Erie. On behalf of Lake Erie we say Thanks to the Governors of Ohio and Michigan and Premier of Ontario for agreeing to collaborate and commit to help Lake Erie.
Environmental, conservation, governmental and farm groups in the US and Canada are already meeting and working together to identify a range of solutions to tackle this complex issue.
Freshwater Future, the only bi-national nongovernmental organization working in the Great Lakes, is pleased to be coordinating and facilitating the collaborative efforts of organizations on this issue. To support this role The Erb Family Foundation provided funding to help the Great Lakes Network partners get the ball rolling on the priority solutions to address Lake Erie’s harmful algae. Over the next two years, we will bring together the players to work together to reduce phosphorus pollution.
Citizens will play a key role in getting the best solutions in place. If you want to be up to date on our work on Lake Erie, join on our Lake Erie Alive email list, please sign-up on our website.