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Algal Bloom Forecast for Lake Erie Underscores Need for Action

Ann Arbor, MI — Lake Erie faces a significant harmful algal bloom this summer, according to today’s official forecast that is released every year by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in cooperation with the Ohio Sea Grant and Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory. The forecast comes near the five-year anniversary of the harmful algal bloom that led to a “do not drink” advisory for more than 400,000 people in greater Toledo.

“The region is not meeting pollution reduction goals to protect the drinking water, public health, jobs, and way of life for millions of people in Ohio," said Gail Hesse, director, Great Lakes water programs for the National Wildlife Federation. "This forecast needs to serve as a catalyst for action to accelerate the adoption of management practices on the land that work for farmers and communities alike. We have solutions to reduce runoff pollution that causes harmful algal blooms, and we look forward to working with elected officials in Ohio, Michigan, and across the region to act with urgency and purpose to protect our environment and economy.”

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, which is co-led by the National Wildlife Federation and the National Parks Conservation Association, has been pushing for federal Great Lakes investments. The funding for the annual harmful algal bloom forecasting is provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the federal program that invests in on-the-ground restoration projects, as well as in scientific research to help guide restoration activities.

“The federal government’s investment in science and research is helping guide Great Lakes restoration efforts so that they are efficient and effective,” said Laura Rubin, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “These investments are vital to ensure that state and federal partners have the information and data they need to tackle serious threats like harmful algal blooms. Despite recent progress, serious threats remain—underscoring the need for an increased, long-term commitment to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other federal programs.”

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