Large summer harmful algal bloom predicted for western Lake Erie

Originally published: 
July, 2019

Excessive spring rains may lead to large harmful algal blooms in late July on western Lake Erie, said U-M aquatic ecologist Don Scavia, professor emeritus at SEAS and a member of the forecast team. Though Scavia notes that blooms do not necessarily correlate with public health risk, he cautions that we can’t depend upon drier weather keeping us safe. “These blooms are driven by diffuse phosphorus sources from the agriculturally dominated Maumee River watershed,” said Scavia, “Until the phosphorus inputs are reduced significantly and consistently so that only the mildest blooms occur, the people, the ecosystem and the economy of this region are being threatened.”

Scavia is a member of NOAA-funded teams that produce annual forecasts for the Gulf of Mexico, Chesapeake Bay, and Lake Erie.