"Western Lake Erie could be on the verge of one of its worst algae outbreaks in years.
Heavy spring rain and unusually high phosphorus levels in the Maumee and Sandusky rivers, coupled with massive overflows from Detroit-area and Toledo-area sewage plants, spurred growth of a toxic brew of algae known as microcystis in June. Then July's hotter-than-normal temperatures began heating up the water more, causing more algae growth.
Boaters have been complaining for weeks about slime near the lake's surface from Monroe to Sandusky. The algae has formed dense mats on calm days, especially in the Toledo and Port Clinton areas.
John Hageman, manager of Ohio State University's Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island, near Put-in-Bay, predicts an "all-time record algae bloom" when the annual peak occurs in early September."
Tom Henry reports for the Toledo Blade August 2, 2010.