PHOTOS: Lake Erie Turns Green as Warm Water Algal Blooms Expand

By By Katy Galimberti, Staff Writer
August 07, 2015, 1:07:45 AM EDT

Lake Erie is once again turning green due to algal blooms that peak during high water temperatures.

Algae has infected the western area of the lake as well as Lake St. Clair. NASA captured images of the neon-green blooms on July 28.

The blooms are a malignant type of cyanobacteria that crowd water areas, typically late in the summer to early fall for the Great Lakes region. When the toxic algae blooms in a massive outburst, water conditions can prove unsafe for swimmers and animals.


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Higher temperatures can be a contributing factor to an increase in blooms, according to Professor and Director at the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan Don Scavia. However, he explained that the key factor is the amount of phosphorus flowing into the lakes from agricultural watersheds.

As of Aug. 1, officials say the water drinking water is safe.


However, some Toledo residents are on edge after last year's ordeal. In early August last year, algal blooms created toxic, undrinkable water for residents and businesses in the Toledo, Ohio, area for several days. Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency for three counties.

This July, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials predicted 2015 would be one of the most severe algal bloom seasons in recent years.

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