Lake Erie plastic keeps volunteers busy Litter in the Lake

Updated: Thu 3:16 PM, May 18, 2017

Ross Ellet

Garbage patches’ the size of Texas have been discovered in the ocean, and now researchers have discovered our Great Lakes are filling up with plastic faster than previously thought. Meteorologist’s use computer models to track storms, wind, waves, and now you can add plastic to that list. The bad news is that our lake is filling up with manmade objects, but technology could help volunteers get the plastic out of our water.
Litter in the Lake
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How satellite data led to a breakthrough for Lake Erie toxic algal blooms

Date:  May 15, 2017

Source:  Carnegie Institution for Science

Summary:  With the growing frequency and magnitude of toxic freshwater algal blooms becoming an increasingly worrisome public health concern, scientists have made new advances in understanding the drivers behind Lake Erie blooms and their implications for lake restoration.

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EPA dragging its feet on Lake Erie algae decision, lawsuit claims

By Garret Ellison |
on April 27, 2017 at 2:15 PM

Great Lakes environmental and conservation groups claim in a lawsuit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is stalling on efforts to improve the water quality in Lake Erie, which is being plagued each year by toxic algal blooms.

The suit was filed April 25 by the National Wildlife Federation, Alliance for the Great Lakes, Lake Erie Charter Boat Association, Lake Erie Foundation, Michigan United Conservation Clubs and Ohio Environmental Council.

The groups argue the EPA is required by law to timely rule on Ohio’s decision to leave the open waters of Lake Erie off a list of unhealthy watersheds which don’t meet legal quality standards for fishing, swimming or drinking.

Ohio has only listed some of Lake Erie’s nearshore waters as impaired, including the area from where the city of Toledo draws its drinking water.

The EPA has yet to accept or dismiss Ohio’s list, submitted in October, although federal federal Clean Water Act says the agency is supposed to make a decision within 30 days.

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Lake Erie panel airs relief at initiative funding

Commission hears concerns about algae, sediment

Published on May 4, 2017

OAK HARBOR, Ohio — Ohio dodged a bullet this week when Congress funded the $300 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, state agency directors who oversee efforts to protect Lake Erie agreed Wednesday.

During its quarterly meeting at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, the Ohio Lake Erie Commission also heard concerns about western Lake Erie’s upcoming algae season, the controversy surrounding plans to bury waste material from Toledo’s Collins Park Water Treatment Plant in a Benton Township quarry, and a smattering of other issues.

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Environmentalists want western Lake Erie declared impaired

, Detroit Free Press Published April 25, 2017

WASHINGTON — Environmental groups are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force a decision on whether western Lake Erie in Ohio should be declared impaired following massive toxic algae blooms in 2014 and 2015 that affected water quality in the region.

A coalition of groups filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. today, asking that a judge order the EPA to decide whether to accept the state of Ohio’s finding that the area of the lake from which Toledo draws its drinking water as well as miles of shoreline and other areas be deemed impaired.

A determination – which the groups say is required within 30 days of submission by a state under the federal Clean Water Act – would force state, local and federal agencies to develop a plan to address water quality in the area. The state of Ohio submitted its recommendation six months ago.

Michigan has already submitted and had approved by the EPA its recommendation, which designated all of Lake Erie in its boundaries impaired. The environmental groups want to force Ohio – which made a more limited recommendation – to do the same but need EPA to act first.

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Jack Lessenberry: Lake Erie headed for disaster

By Jack Lessenberry May 7, 2017

TOLEDO, Ohio — Few people know Lake Erie as well as Jeffery Reutter, the recently retired director of the Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory on the lake.

He’s shown me a picture of his hand covered with toxic algae when he was a graduate student in 1971 — and that same hand covered again nearly half a century later, in 2014, the year cyanobacteria from toxic algae blooms made the water in Toledo and part of Michigan’s Monroe County unsafe to drink.

A few weeks ago, at a “Farmers Together” forum on saving Lake Erie, I asked him what would happen if President Trump’s budget ending all funds for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and slashing funds for the EPA becomes reality.

The scientist, who is anything but an alarmist, responded instantly. “We can no longer count on Lake Erie producing safe drinking water for the 11 million people it now serves.”

That’s the bottom line. Erie, the warmest, shallowest and second-smallest of all the Great Lakes is indeed in danger.

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