Harmful Algal Blooms

Harmful Algal Blooms

Toxic algae do more than just make our beaches less beautiful, it is a human health concern. Research from Brain Chemistry Labs suggests a link between cyanobacteria, blue-green algae, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. In 2014, 400,000 residents in Toledo, Ohio went without drinking water for three days. Over 100 people got sick during that time. 10% of water-related illnesses reported between 2013 and 2014 came from harmful algal bloom contamination in Ohio drinking water.

Here are some more facts about what happens when our water turns green:

1. Algal blooms reduce tourism spending: Lake Erie brings $14 billion annually in tourism spending. Visitors to Michigan brought in 22.8 Billion visiting the waters in 2014.

2. They threaten drinking water: Municipalities spend millions of dollars protecting our Great Lake intake cribs and removing toxins from the water so that it’s safe to drink.

3. Make fish unsafe to eat.

4. Hurt property values within 2 miles of lakeshore.

Toxic Algae is a threat not only to our ecosystems, but our economy, and our health. Learn how you can help us combat Toxic Algae and other threats to drinking water on our take action page!

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.