The city commissioners of Sarasota, Florida, decided Monday to send a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency opposing an aquaculture pilot project that sought to farm fish about 45 miles off the city's coast. In the letter, signed by Sarasota mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch, the commissioners file "strong and formal opposition" to the project.
A new analysis from the Environmental Working Group reveals that state and federal testing of lakes and other bodies of water has found toxins from algae blooms in waterways in 48 states. The toxins, which sometimes make their way into drinking water supplies, can cause negative health outcomes ranging from skin rashes to serious illness or death.
Environmental groups in Michigan and Ohio filed suit against the EPA, seeking a court order for the agency to decide whether water quality in western Lake Erie is impaired. The designation would lead to pollution regulations aimed at preventing algae blooms, which can be toxic, said the Associated Press.
Algae blooms are poisoning marine life farther north than they ever have, says a new study by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Six months after the largest algae bloom on record in Lake Erie, Canada and the United States set a target of a 40-percent reduction in phosphorus runoff into the lake. The next step is for the nations to develop plans by February 2018 to meet their targets, which are based on 2008 levels.
EPA surveys have shown that chemicals draining from crop fields have become the leading source of pollution in U.S. rivers and lakes. Because many municipalities source drinking water from these rivers and lakes, the issue has gotten contentious.
The massive algae bloom plaguing Lake Erie again this summer is now turning away anglers, says the Detroit Free Press.
Farmers in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan are eligible for an additional $5 million in cost-share money for projects that will reduce nutrient runoff into western Lake Erie, said the USDA.
"A massive toxic algae bloom has closed shellfish fisheries along the West Coast," says the Portland Oregonian. Beaches were closed to clamming and oyster harvesting along the Oregon and Washington State coastlines.
The Ohio House and Senate are expected to vote this week on legislation intended to reduce toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie by reducing farm runoff, says the Associated Press.
The government should give priority to protecting water quality in Lake Erie's watershed including a standard on blooms of toxic algae, said Toledo Mayor Michael Collins, four months after explosive growth of algae shut down his city's water supply. "If we continue to delay, the harm may be irreparable," Collins said during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on voluntary work by farmers to control soil erosion and protect water purity.
The algae bloom that shut down Toledo's drinking-water supply for two days this summer has put the spotlight on agricultural runoff, although farmland is not the only source of the pollutants that cause the explosive growth of the cyanobacteria, says...
The International Joint Commission, the U.S.-Canada group that oversees the Great Lakes, will spend the next few months studying the impact of algae blooms in Lake Erie before issuing a new report on the lake in the spring, says the Associated Press.
During the summer, green slime, also known as blue-green algae, disrupted the water supply for Toledo. Nutrient runoff from farms, especially phosphorus fertilizer, gets part of the blame for feeding the algae blooms.
Farmers in Ohio can get up to $2 million in cost-share money to reduce run-off into Lake Erie, said USDA, acting only weeks after algae blooms in the lake disrupted the water supply for Toledo.
Farm leaders in Ohio say producers have worked for years to reduce their use of fertilizer and to reduce runoff through using no-till cultivation and planting filter strips near waterways, says AgWeb.