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Heavy Rain Worsens Lake Erie Algae Blooms

Lake Erie charter captains are helping Ohio EPA researchers gather water samples to test for toxic algae blooms. The Lake Erie Charter Boat Association says the captains have a vested interest because they depend on tourists and a healthy lake for their business. An Ohio EPA official says captains collected 45 water samples last July through October and the agency and the captains want to work together again this year. Meanwhile, a new report from the National Wildlife Federation shows heavy spring rainfall is exacerbating farm runoff - leading to the re-emergence of the Lake Erie blooms. In 2011, record-breaking rains led to a record number of the blooms, which covered an area of more than three-thousand miles. Peter Richards is with the National Center for Water Quality Research at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, which conducted the study.

Richards recommends several solutions, including stronger farm conservation practices; restoration of the natural landscape and wetlands; and the reduction of carbon pollution linked to global climate change.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.