18 June 2011

Ok, who doesn't love warthogs?

The algal advisory at Buckeye Lake, in terms of the new Ohio provisions for these warnings, remains in place and has been expanded (see here). “The algal bloom advisory against swimming at Brooks Beach is the result of the Environmental Protection Agency spotting a harmful algal bloom in the lake May 31. The advisory against swimming or wading was posted June 1, but swimmers are not physically removed if they choose to stay”.  “Harmful algal blooms capable of producing toxin have been spotted at Crystal, Fairfield and Brooks beaches, prompting the new warnings at the beaches in Licking and Fairfield counties“.

A new warning has been issued for Meade State Lake (Topeka, Kansas).  “The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recommends that the lake water not be used for drinking, that people avoid swimming, wading or other full-body contact with the water and keep pets from the water.  Residents are also instructed to thoroughly clean fish caught in the lake and to eat only the filet [sic] portion“.

Back to Ohio: The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has posted a form on its new “Algae Awareness 101” website for the public to report blue-green algae, the toxic stuff that plagued Ohio waterways last summer.  Public response has been mixed as the form seems a bit complicated (see here) but it is yet another step at getting the public involved.  Lost Creek Lake (Oregon) may be on the verge of an algal bloom.  In Florida, the Lee County Health Department is adding to its Caloosahatchee River warning that all natural bodies of fresh untreated water where algae is present should be avoided by people, pets and livestock.

Additions to the  restoration plan for the Great Lakes have been proposed.  This is a massive initiative as anyone who has seen these inland seas will realize.  “Investments are needed to respond to the enormous challenges facing the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence and local communities. These include the eutrophication of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, adapting cities to climate change, protecting shorelines, and preserving wetlands and other coastal habitat areas. This infusion into non-infrastructure projects and programs would be complementary to major investments that are needed to address the multi-billion dollar deficit for water infrastructure in both countries”. Restoring any lake will bring significant financial benefits for the multiple cost-centres that feed off it.  In this case the “returns from Great Lakes-St. Lawrence investments are real and broad-reaching. The Brookings Institution found that for a $26 billion investment in the Great Lakes, there would be over a $50 billion return in economic benefits. In addition, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies estimates that 47,000 jobs are created for every billion dollars invested in clean water infrastructure. Municipal investments have also shown great returns, in terms of economic and environmental development and quality of life”.

On a non-cyanobacterial note, “Golden algae found in a pond 100 feet away from Dunkard Creek (Pittsburgh) has prompted environmental officials to monitor the creek, fearing a repeat of the 2009 waterway crisis in which toxins released from the algae triggered a massive fish kill”.

Staying on the Canadian site of the border, Pigeon Lake (Ontario) has an algal bloom – as I reported a day or so ago.

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