Causes And Consequences Of The Lake Erie

1474 Words6 Pages
Last summer in Toledo, toxic algae blooms contaminated the drinking water supply of 400,000 people (Toledo water crisis, par. 1). Algae, like all organisms, normally grow in balance with their ecosystems, limited by the amount of nutrients in the water. But sometimes, algae can reproduce very rapidly, which causes damage. Harmful algal blooms have been increasing in the United States to the point where they occur along most of the coastlines and are common in many places: Specifically, Lake Erie. Lake Erie has been affected by the blooms since the 1960’s and is still being affected. The impacts of these blooms are dangerous in many ways: humans’ health is placed at risk, ecosystems are altered, and marine mammals can either be injured or…show more content…
Industrial interests argue that a reference in the text of the law to “navigable waters” limits federal jurisdiction to waters you can boat on. This has let them get away with discharging pollution into smaller waterways. Regulators disagree, since pollutants in these waterways drain into and threaten larger passable waters, too (CLEAN WATER ACT, par. 1-35). A change in climate can affect the algal blooms, making the blooms to increase rapidly. Strong winds can also drive blooms to the water 's surface, where water intake pipes can draw contaminated water into systems serving municipality. Finally, a combination of warm temperature and excess nutrients can make the algae multiply. Algae can multiply quickly in waterways with an overabundance of and phosphorus, particularly when the water is warm and the weather is calm. Toledo did not have much luck last summer. A small bloom appeared directly over the city’s water-intake pipe affecting the water even more (Behind Toledo’s Water Crisis, par. 10). Although climate can play a role in effecting the blooms, agricultural activities have an even bigger impact on the algae blooms. Agricultural practices, such as no-till cropping, also reduced the amount of particulate phosphorus. On March 22, the Ohio lawmakers were on the same path of agreeing on a plan that would reduce the farm runoff that feeds the algae
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