University and government researchers are predicting the toxic algae bloom in the western basin of Lake Erie this summer will be considerably smaller than in recent years.
The report by the Ohio Sea Grant program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says less rainfall this spring reduced the amount of the phosphorus and other nutrients washing into the lake that makes the algae grow. Jeff Reutter is a special advisor to the Sea Grant program.
The bloom last summer was the largest on record at 300 square miles. This year's bloom will likely come in at 5.5 on a scale of 1-to-ten. In 2014, algae rendered tap water undrinkable for two days in Toledo. The researchers say consistently reducing algae blooms will involve strict enforcement of the agreement between Ohio, Michigan and Ontario to lower phosphorus runoff 40-percent by the year 2025.