More than 10 years ago, the discovery of cyanobacteria along Park Point in Duluth — in notoriously cold and stormy Lake Superior — would have been unheard of.
As the deepest and most northern of the Great Lakes, Superior was once thought immune to algal blooms, which is why it was such a shock when the first report of blue-green algae came in 2012.
The Great Lakes in Peril: Invasives, Pollution, and Climate Change is a production of The Environment Report. Listen to the full documentary on Michigan Radio’s website.
There is evidence that suggests harmful toxins and algae itself are found in the air. But scientists are unsure how much toxin is in the air, how weather or water quality affect it, or what human health effects it could cause.
Researchers found the presence of zebra mussels led to an increase in a type of bacteria called Microcystis that produces the algae.
Record-setting algae bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends have caused this problem, which scientists predict won’t be the last crisis of its kind.
So, what can we do about it? Is it preventable, and if so, how?
Great Lakes Now produced a special interview with Christy McDonald and Dr. Patrick Doran, Director of Conservation for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan. Dr. Doran leads statewide and Great Lakes‐wide investigations of conservation priorities. This includes the identification and prioritization of important conservation areas, as well as the development and implementation of conservation strategies and measures of success.
- Patrick Doran, Michigan Director of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy
- Jeff Reutter, Director, Ohio Sea Grant, Center for Lake Erie Area Research (by Skype)
- Raj Bejankiwar, Physical Scientist, International Joint Commission (he’s the lead scientist on the IJC’s LEEP report)
- Tim Davis, Molecular Ecologist, NOAA, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Detroit Public Television will continue to provide you with critical and in-depth information about the algae bloom crisis and other environmental issues that you need to know about.
Alliance for the Great Lakes – Protecting Coastal Health from Algae
NOAA – GLERL (Great Lakes Experimental Regional Laboratory) on Harmful Algae Blooms – There you can find:
- NOAA HAB Forecast Bulletins
- HAB Research
- Phytoplankton Monitoring Network
- NOAA Ecoforecasting
Ohio Sea Grant – 10 Thing to Know About Algae Blooms (PDF)
Ohio Sea Grant – Harmful Algal Blooms in the Ohio Waters (PDF)