US Gives $3.1 Million For Lake Erie Algae Projects

WAWS/WTEV/MGN

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is allocating $3.1 million from a Great Lakes cleanup fund for efforts to reduce harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie that hit water supplies in Michigan and Ohio.

The money will be divided among three federal agencies and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

EPA regional chief Susan Hedman says some of the projects will improve water quality testing and algae bloom forecasting. Others will expand financial assistance for agricultural conservation practices in the western Lake Erie Basin.

The Michigan department will get $197,000 to improve farm nutrient management.

The latest funding is in addition to $8.6 million in grants from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative awarded to Ohio, Indiana and Michigan in September for algae reduction programs.

More than 400,000 people in Toledo, Ohio, and southeastern Michigan were ordered not to drink tap water for two days in August because of pollution from microcystin, a toxin generated by a harmful algae bloom.

Algae outbreaks also contribute to low-oxygen “dead zones” in Lake Erie’s deeper waters and harm tourism by fouling beaches.

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