Great Lakes Harmful Algal Bloom Research Highlighted by Local Media
News station WKYC in Cleveland, OH covered the Ohio-Lake Erie Beach Conference on January 22, where NCCOS researcher Rick Stumpf discussed NOAA’s Lake Erie HAB forecast with dozens of federal, state and local researchers. Dr. Stumpf was interviewed for the broadcast: “This is not something to take lightly” he noted, “You certainly don’t want to ingest the water with this kind of contamination.” Stumpf also warned that the blooms were a threat to household pets, which can die from exposure to the toxins produced by the algae.
The blue-green algae in Lake Erie are actually bacteria (cyanobacteria) which are able to photosynthesize and appear greenish in color. Stumpf said, “not all algae that produces scum produce the toxin. But the one that shows up in western Lake Erie (Microcystis aeruginosa) consistently produces this toxin.”