toxic algae blooms

Algae around a dock at kelley's Island
Ohio EPA

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is asking the General Assembly to expand the power of state regulators over a specific source of water pollution affecting Lake Erie. 


The Kasich Administration is declaring western Lake Erie impaired due to high levels of chemicals that cause algae growth -- especially phosphorus from fertilizer. The Ohio EPA wants state legislators to give it more authority over farm practices. 

Lake Erie algae bloom

The more rain we have in the spring, the bigger the Lake Erie algae bloom in the summer. And it’s been a wet spring. 

Algae blooms in western Lake Erie are primarily due to fertilizer chemicals running off farm land. Some blooms can become toxic, shutting down beaches or sickening people and pets.

Rain helps phosphorus migrate from farms to the lake through rivers including the Maumee in western Ohio – and tracking from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, can predict the size of an algae bloom.


President Donald Trump is proposing massive cuts to the U.S. EPA.

The Chicago-Sun Times recently reported that those cuts would include eliminating the Region 5 office that oversees Ohio and five other states.

An EPA spokesperson calls that report “politicized rumors.”

Photo of dangerous algae bloom in Lake Erie

Seven conservation groups from the Great Lakes region are threatening to sue the U.S. EPA, saying it has failed to enforce the Clean Water Act in Ohio.

The conservation groups are accusing the EPA of “foot-dragging” and ignoring the threat of toxic algae blooms, which affect drinking water and wildlife.

Store Bought Water Filters can Stop Algae Toxins

Nov 21, 2016
Stone Lab
Ohio State University

Commercially available water pitchers with filters can rid drinking water of toxins produced by algae blooms. The research done at Ohio State University’s Stone Lab on Lake Erie shows some are better at the task than others.