By Mark Bashore
This story originally appeared on Current State and is republished here with permission.
Last week, Michigan environmental officials designated the state’s tiny piece of Lake Erie an “impaired waterway.” That’s because algae blooms have become more common there and are damaging fish and other wildlife. The algae blooms are mainly the result of fertilizer runoff into the lake from farms.
In the summer of 2014, 400,000 people in the Toledo area were briefly unable to drink city water because algae had created unsafe levels of a toxin.
The “impaired” designation is important because it can lead to stronger federal action.
Current State talks with Michael Shriberg, Great Lakes regional executive director at the National Wildlife Federation in Ann Arbor.
Current State focuses on the environment every Tuesday. Our efforts are supported by Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. For more news of the Great Lakes environment, you can check out GreatLakesEcho.org.