Blue Green Algae killing Lake Erie

And they're off, out of the calm channels of Meink's Marina and into the open waters of Lake Erie, on the hunt for blue green algae.

It TMs something University of Toledo researchers wish was a little harder to find.

Since the mid 1990's, about the last 15 years, the process has been going backwards. It's been going in the wrong direction so the lake has been getting worse instead of better, said Thomas Bridgeman, assistant professor of ecology at the University of Toledo.

Bridgeman and his team of graduate students collect blue green algae samples so they can see what's in it and how much is in the water, suffocating the fun and the function out of this lake.

The city of Toledo drinks this water and our water intake plant's just a mile away from us. It [Blue Green Algae] can produce toxins that can get in the water drinking system and if they're not removed they can be harmful or even deadly, said Justin Chaffin, a UT graduate student.

The team says they're just one link in the chain, gathering the information to give to the legislators to get the money and support it will take to keep this blue green gunk from killing Lake Erie.

But the problem doesn TMt stop there.

Today Governor Ted Strickland made a visit to Ohio's largest inland lake, to present a plan on how to reverse the toxic situation.

State regulators have declared Grand Lake Saint Mary's in western Ohio, unfit for boaters, swimmers, and fishermen because of high algae levels.

The algae are fueled by phosphorus runoff from heavily fertilized crop fields.

Part of Strickland's plan includes trying to reduce the amount of fertilizer and manure that large farms can put on their fields.

Right now, health officials are investigating to see if the algae are to blame for the death of several dogs in western Ohio.