Consistent westerly winds blowing across Lake Erie this summer have apparently helped keep a harmful algae bloom away from Toledo’s water system. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association closely monitors the annual bloom, which can foul municipal water systems. The algae is toxic to many organisms including fish and humans. NOAA Oceanographer Rick Stumpf says the bloom has been tracking according to predictions.
“We had (projected) this as a severity of 7.5. Last year was well below that, and we definitely have a more severe bloom than last year, but 2015 was 10.5 as the worst bloom we’ve seen. In 2015 at this point in the season there had been hundreds of square miles of scum in Lake Erie, and we’ve not seen anything like that” - Rick Stumpf
Stumpf says strong westerly winds have helped reduce the amount of scum along the coast of southern Michigan and northern Ohio. He says the bloom typically continues to grow through the second week in September.