Blue-Green Algae Problem in Lake Erie

The problem of excess nutrient comes primarily from fertilizer runoff from farming which contains phosphorous—this feeds cynobacteria, a type of algae, and causes their growth and spread. The excess algal bloom consumes large amounts of oxygen which kills the fish in these areas, thus creating “dead” zones. Blue-green algae, the most detrimental type of algae in the lake, can cause illness or even death in humans if consumed in the water.  It is toxic to fish, birds, and other wildlife also, causing damage to the respiratory and nervous systems.

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