August 21, 2018 Update
Bad news - as we get later into the summer months, toxic algae has reached Point Pelee. Following an advisory posted earlier last week, it had been recommended that people and their pets stay out of the water, as the algae can bring on sickness or, in serious occasions, even death. Satellite images show that the bloom stretches out along the Michigan and Ohio coast, making its way out towards Point Pelee.
Earlier in the summer the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted a significant bloom for around this time, and their prediction is proving correct. With the bacteria reaching more beaches, there is a large impact throughout the area, as it takes away from swimming, boating, fishing, and other recreational activities.
By Friday last week, the advisory had been removed as bacteria levels created by the algae were back down, yet it still brings serious concern throughout the area. In these final weeks of summer beaches should be enjoyed - it should not be a worry about whether the water is safe to swim in.
Remember to continue checking your local advisories, and if they say there is algae present, stay out of the water!
Harmful algae in Lake Erie has now reached a tipping point where it poses a serious threat to wildlife, the quality of life and the economic vitality of the region.
Cleaning up Lake Erie’s waters is going to require a sizable collective effort and long term commitment across two countries, five states, and the province of Ontario, as well as many communities and stakeholders. Coordinated action proved the 1970s claim that “Lake Erie was dead” wrong -- and thankfully it still boasts the largest commercial fishery of all the Great Lakes. Lake Erie’s challenges have escalated but with coordinated action and a focus on solutions that will drive reductions in algae causing pollution, we can keep “Lake Erie Alive” once more.
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