Plan seeks phosphorus cuts to stop Lake Erie algae

 

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A U.S.-Canadian agency is calling for sharp cutbacks in phosphorus runoff into Lake Erie to counter a worsening problem of algae blooms that degrade water quality, harm fish and chase away tourists.

Suffering-Lake-Erie Sidd

FILE - This Oct. 5, 2011 file satellite photo provided by NASA shows algae blooms on Lake Erie. A U.S.-Canadian agency is calling for sharp cutbacks in phosphorus runoff into Lake Erie to counter a worsening problem of algae blooms that degrade water quality, harm fish and chase away tourists. In a report Thursday, Feb 27, 2014, the International Joint Commission identifies farm fertilizer as a primary culprit in feeding runaway algae blooms. It recommends placing Lake Erie on a federal impaired waters list, which would activate a plan to limit phosphorus levels. (AP Photo/NASA, File)

In a report Thursday, the International Joint Commission identifies farm fertilizer as a primary culprit in feeding runaway algae blooms. It recommends placing Lake Erie on a federal impaired waters list, which would activate a plan to limit phosphorus levels.

It particularly targets the Maumee Bay watershed in Ohio and Indiana on the lake's western side, proposing a 39 percent annual reduction in phosphorus runoff from its tributaries through a combination of regulations and voluntary actions.

Lake Erie's algae problem has worsened in recent years. The largest bloom ever recorded extended more than 100 miles in 2011.