Lake Erie gets natural water filter

When algae builds up on Western Lake Erie, recreational activity is not something that the murky greenish-brown water invites.

"The algal blooms seem to keep people out of the lake for swimming purposes," says Justin Woldt with the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.

The algal blooms form as a result of large amount of sediment and nutrients in the water, which creates a never-ending food source for algae, allowing it to grow.

That food source is created from run-off water on two fronts. One comes from the fertizlizer of farm land as the water runs into the lake, the other is from the sewage travelling in from detroit.

"We polluted it in less than forty years, we should be able to restore it in a reasonable amount of time I'm sure," says Bob Pulhuj, who used to swim in Lake Erie in the 1970's.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is making changes happen by stopping the run-off from entering the lake directly, and instead it will be filtered through the wetlands.

A marsh, which acts as natural filtration, will be restored on a 25,000 acre parcel of farmland just to the South of the Toussaint River in Ottawa, OH, which will essentially starve the algae because many of the nutrients that would end up in the lake otherwise, are filtered out throught the wetlands.

The restoration will also create a perfect rest stop for migrating birds.

"They're coming up from the South, from South America, all the way through. This is a stop before they cross Lake Erie," says Pulhuj.

It will also add more opportunity for the community of bird watchers.

02:28-02:30 good things for wildlife and people.

The project was commemorated last week, and a more swim friendly Western Lake Erie may be in the near future.