Scientists say an algae bloom that spread across Lake Erie this past summer was the largest on record and produced a thick scum about the size of New York City.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the algae outbreak surpassed the record-setting bloom in 2011 that stretched from Toledo to Cleveland. The agency says the bloom produced a scum that covered about 300 square miles in August. But the actual bloom was much larger. Researchers say this year's bloom stayed toward the center of the lake between Canada and Ohio and away from the shoreline. That lessened the impact on boaters and plants that handle drinking water. Toxins from a much smaller bloom in 2014 contaminated the tap water for 400,000 people in the Toledo area.