Sudbury’s health unit is investigating possible blue-green algae blooms in Ramsey Lake. Adds byline. Will be updated. In a statement from the NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, ecological forecasting researcher Richard Stumpf stated, “While we are forecasting a severe bloom, much of the lake will be fine most of the time”.
Algae blooms are visible to the naked eye, but testing is the only way to know if toxins are present in Lake Champlain, which is the drinking water source for about 150,000 Vermonters.
Scientists who issued their forecast for the lake on Thursday say this year’s algae bloom could be second only to 2011 when the algae stretched more than 100 miles from Toledo to Cleveland.
Algae feed on phosphorus, a key ingredient in manure, sewage and farm fertilizers, which wash off of fields and into waterways that lead to Erie.
Representative Marcy Kaptur, (D) of the 9th District, brought together a panel of experts Tuesday to address the rising algal bloom threat, something many of them say does not necessarily increase the chances of another drinking water crisis. As we showed you last week, microcystins have been detected in western Lake Erie. The bulletins will continue at the twice-weekly frequency established during last season’s Toledo event, and can be received by a subscription to the NOAA Lake Erie HAB Bulletin. According to a study conducted by Laura Johnson, a research scientist at the National Center for Water Quality Research at Heidelberg University, the three million acres of farmland leading from Toledo to Lake Erie have streamed almost 2.5 million pounds of phosphorous down the Maumee River.
USGS will work with NASA to provide satellite tracking of the bloom, as well.
“The forecast is definitely worse than 2014”, Rick Stumpf, a NOAA oceanographer and chief harmful algal bloom forecaster, told a roomful of journalists and public officials today during a long-awaited seasonal algae forecast. The project will improve the understanding of the environmental causes and health effects of cyanobacteria and phytoplankton blooms.