TOLEDO - Environmental experts from Ohio led a public forum Tuesday night on Lake Erieâ??s potentially harmful algae blooms. The panel gathered at the University of Toledo to discuss how the crisis happened in the first place and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.
Lake Erie researcher Dr. Carol Stepien started the forum by displaying a sample collected Monday afternoon. Sheâ??s the director of the UT Lake Erie Research Center.
â??I think itâ??s putrid. It looks horrible,â?? she said of the sample. â??It looks like pea green soup.â??
Stepien says the potentially harmful algae feeds on nutrientsâ??including phosphorusâ??that enter the lake from farm runoff and sewage treatment plants.
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The discussion was streamed live on the Universityâ??s YouTube page, and the panel fielded questions that contained the hashtag #ToledoAlgae.
They also took questions from audience members in the auditorium. One of the questions came from Lyman Welchâ??the Water Quality Program Director at the Alliance of the Great Lakes.
He asked when people can expect decision makers and leaders to take action to address the problem in Lake Erie. Welch says lawmakers should explore ways to reduce the presence of phosphorus in the lake.
Thatâ??s a question thatâ??s been on Dr. Stepienâ??s mind as well.
â??I think they need to be talking about it tonight and tomorrow,â?? she said.
The panel consisted of experts not just from the University of Toledo but from Bowling Green State University as well.