Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 11:00 AM

Project Type

Poster- Restricted to Campus Access

Description

Lake Erie, the southern most and smallest by volume lake of the five Great Lakes, is home to an abundance of wildlife, including over 130 fish species, and is a vacation destination for millions of recreation seekers every year. With roughly 63% of Lake Eries watershed consisting of agricultural fields, most of which utilize phosphorous fertilizers in order to increase crop yield, the lake has recently experienced increased levels of phosphorous. The introduction of phosphorus into the phosphorus-limited waters has caused algae blooms to occur. Many of the algal blooms in Lake Erie have been designated as Harmful Algal Blooms. Harmful Algal Blooms produce toxins that can damage the liver, nervous system and/or skin of organisms that come into contact with the blooms. Lake Erie algal blooms in 2011, caused mainly by agricultural and residential fertilizers, septic tank leaks, and animal waste runoff, were estimated to have brought a 2.4 million dollar loss to Ohios recreational fishing industry, and a 1.3 million dollar loss to the Maumee Bay State Park. They have also negatively impacted the aquatic species of Lake Erie by using up available oxygen. Although the algal blooms of the past few summer have not been as harmful as those of 2011, scientists studying Lake Erie expect HABs worsen if current fertilizer-use and climate trends continue.

Faculty Sponsor

Gail Carlson

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Environmental Studies Program

CLAS Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

326

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May 1st, 10:00 AM May 1st, 11:00 AM

Lake Erie Algal Blooms

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Lake Erie, the southern most and smallest by volume lake of the five Great Lakes, is home to an abundance of wildlife, including over 130 fish species, and is a vacation destination for millions of recreation seekers every year. With roughly 63% of Lake Eries watershed consisting of agricultural fields, most of which utilize phosphorous fertilizers in order to increase crop yield, the lake has recently experienced increased levels of phosphorous. The introduction of phosphorus into the phosphorus-limited waters has caused algae blooms to occur. Many of the algal blooms in Lake Erie have been designated as Harmful Algal Blooms. Harmful Algal Blooms produce toxins that can damage the liver, nervous system and/or skin of organisms that come into contact with the blooms. Lake Erie algal blooms in 2011, caused mainly by agricultural and residential fertilizers, septic tank leaks, and animal waste runoff, were estimated to have brought a 2.4 million dollar loss to Ohios recreational fishing industry, and a 1.3 million dollar loss to the Maumee Bay State Park. They have also negatively impacted the aquatic species of Lake Erie by using up available oxygen. Although the algal blooms of the past few summer have not been as harmful as those of 2011, scientists studying Lake Erie expect HABs worsen if current fertilizer-use and climate trends continue.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/414