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Environment


Ohio's toxic algae blooms are expected to hit higher levels than last year
Lake Erie will be hit hard, a new national report predicts
Story by ANDREW CHOW


 
In The Region:

Ohioans seeking fun in the sun could find more algae standing in their way this summer. A national report says additional scum will surface on part of Lake Erie compared to last year. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow has the details.

LISTEN: Lake Erie algae forecast

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LISTEN: Lake Erie algae forecast (abbreviated)

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Twice as much algae as last year.

That’s what beachgoers could find when they visit western Lake Erie in August.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also known as NOAA, says the amount of harmful algal blooms will increase compared to last year but it’s still one-fifth the size of 2011’s record algae load.

Rick Stumpf, oceanographer with NOAA, says even the appearance of algae can impact recreational use.

“Primarily because it’s unappealing when you actually get the scum. Fishing would be fine. When there’s not scum in the water—no algae—it’d be safe to go swimming in the lake. It is obvious when there’s a potential problem,” said Stumpf.

This year’s increase in algae is due to the amount of rainfall from March through June, including heavy April showers. On the bright side, NOAA says most of the blooms are expected to appear in late August when school starts up and beach visits slow down.

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