USA - Lake Erie
A potentially harmful algae bloom covered more than 700 square miles in the western basin of Lake Erie last week, turning the lake bright green and alarming residents and local officials.
Scientists say that algae blooms have been a growing problem for Lake Erie since the 2000s, mostly because of the extensive use of fertilizer on the region’s farmland.
The algae blooms contain cyanobacteria, which, under certain conditions, can produce toxins that contaminate drinking water and cause harm to the local ecosystem.
Lake Erie attracts millions of visitors for beaches and recreation like fishing, and many businesses stand to lose money during large algae blooms.
According to local experts, storms have become more intense in the region, carrying more nutrients from the farmland into the lake.