"Behind Toledo’s Water Crisis, a Long-Troubled Lake Erie"

"TOLEDO, Ohio — It took a serendipitous slug of toxins and the loss of drinking water for a half-million residents to bring home what scientists and government officials in this part of the country have been saying for years: Lake Erie is in trouble, and getting worse by the year.

Flooded by tides of phosphorus washed from fertilized farms, cattle feedlots and leaky septic systems, the most intensely developed of the Great Lakes is increasingly being choked each summer by thick mats of algae, much of it poisonous. What plagues Toledo and, experts say, potentially all 11 million lakeside residents, is increasingly a serious problem across the United States.

But while there is talk of action — and particularly in Ohio, real action — there also is widespread agreement that efforts to address the problem have fallen woefully short. And the troubles are not restricted to the Great Lakes. Poisonous algae are found in polluted inland lakes from Minnesota to Nebraska to California, and even in the glacial-era kettle ponds of Cape Cod in Massachusetts."

Michael Wines reports for the New York Times August 4, 2014.

SEE ALSO:

"What Have We Learned From the Toledo Water Crisis?" (Aljazeera America)

"Behind Ohio Drinking-Water Ban, a Lake Erie Mystery" (Christian Science Monitor)

"Toledo Reopens Its Taps -- But Algae Problems Aren't Going Away" (Greenwire)

"Algae’s Lake Effect Reveals Pea Green Disaster" (Toledo Blade)

"Kaptur: Congressional Inaction And Slashing Led To Toledo Water Ban" (WCPN)

"Drinking Water Ban Stirs Legislative Interest In Reducing Phosphorous" (WCPN)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014