We’ve been posting quite a bit this year about water problems across the country, and most of the issues have been drought related. Need another reason to be extra thrifty with your water? Visit Toledo.
According to NOAA, Lake Erie is in for its fourth consecutive year of higher-than-average incidence of toxic algal blooms. Blue-green algae may sound picturesque, but the slimy carpeting floating at the surface of infected lakes and seas can kill marine life—and wreak havoc on human bodies, as well. And algae doesn’t just mean a bummer day at the beach; Fox News
points out that Lake Erie provides drinking water for much of that region, both in the US and Canada.
These images from National Geographic
show how really, ahem, eerie this phenomenon is around the world.
Photo Courtesy of National Geographic
The state governments of Wisconsin and Florida have fact sheets available to clear up some of the misinformation about blue-green algae and help people avoid harm. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s page emphasizes the importance of keeping pets from playing in or consuming “icky-looking and smelly” (their words) water. And Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources
strikes at one of the roots of the problem, cautioning residents against over-fertilization, since runoff feeds algae and leads to unnaturally aggressive growth.
Besides vacationing somewhere other than the southwest shores of the Great Lakes, there are one or two things we can do to minimize our exposure to harmful algae. Check out the facts and tips in these water storage posts.
Stay safe on the beach this summer, friends, and keep your drinking water clean and slime-free!