Moderate blooms — after last year’s record-setting algae growth — were the result of an unusually dry spring, not a decline in the phosphate runoff that feeds the growth of cyanobacteria that plagues lakes and rivers in the state’s western water basin each summer.
And despite strides in research efforts, water monitoring and efforts by farmers to reduce runoff, considerable work remains to stem toxic algae, experts say.
“We’re going to see these blooms recur,” said George Bullerjahn, a biology professor at Bowling Green State University. “We can improve this over the next decade, but we’ve got to be patient.”
As part of an agreement between the United States and Canada, Ohio pledged to help reduce the amount of phosphate entering Lake Erie by 40 percent in the next 10 years.
Environmentalists say that goal is feasible. More than 130 researchers at 10 Ohio universities cite several tasks to reach it: