Michigan declares Western basin of Lake Erie ‘impaired’ due to algae

Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality has declared the Western Lake Erie Basin impaired due to excessive algae blooms.

In a news release, department officials state high levels of phosphorus are to blame. 

“Today’s listing further supports the need for the goals established by the Western Basin of Lake Erie Collaborative Agreement, signed in June of 2015, by Governor Rick Snyder, Premier Kathleen Wynne, of the Province of Ontario and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor of Ohio,” the statement reads.

Local commercial fisherman and industry representatives spoke out about this issue earlier this year. They told CBC News they’ve seen the issue get worse over the last five years The harmful algae leads to smaller catches and fouled equipment. 


At its worst, toxic algae blooms have forced communities to shut off their water supply. (The Canadian Press)


The governments established the goal of reducing phosphorus, usually coming from fertilizer runoff from farm fields, of 40 per cent by 2025, with an interim goal of 20 per cent reduction by 2020. 

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