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Rep. Sheehy: Ohio, federal officials forecast large algal blooms for 2019

Lawmaker calls for action, preparedness
July 11, 2019
Michael Sheehy News

State Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Toledo) today joined state and federal government officials on Gibraltar Island to discuss harmful algal blooms expected off the coast of Toledo, Ohio after an unusually rainy spring carried large levels of manure and fertilizer from farmland into the Western Lake Erie Basin.

“Though we expect this year’s blooms to be somewhat severe, they could be far worse,” said Rep. Sheehy. “Many farms weren’t able to get out and apply manure this year because of the rainy spring, and large flows in from Lake Huron may dilute some of the blooms.”

While there is no immediate threat to drinking water supplies, residents are still advised to make use of the Toledo Drinking Water Quality Dashboard and maintain a three-to-seven day supply of bottled water.

“If corporate factory farm operations hadn’t applied such large amounts of fertilizer and manure for the last few decades, Lake Erie would be in a far more manageable condition today,” added Sheehy. “However, we still have time to prevent the blooms from worsening as climate change reshapes our region.”

Certain areas of Lake Erie will be accessible for recreation and fishing as August and September approach, but officials advise avoiding blooms where possible and watching for public health advisories at recreational areas.