Scientists forecast larger Lake Erie algae bloom

GIBRALTAR ISLAND, Ohio (AP) — Experts are predicting the toxic blue-green algae bloom in the western basin of Lake Erie this summer will be more significant than last year but much smaller than the amount that blanketed much of the water in 2011.

The forecast predicts a “significant bloom” in that part of the lake will begin in August. It’s expected to be about one-fifth the size of the 2011 bloom that hampered tourism and drew headlines as one of the worst on record.

An oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration presented the forecast Tuesday on Gibraltar Island.

The extent of spring rainfall is one factor in the algae growth, which is fed by phosphorous from fertilizer runoff and other sources. The algae produce bacteria that can kill animals and sicken humans.

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