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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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        Oregon City Council this month will consider approving an agreement with the Lake Erie Foundation to fund up to one third of the cost of Phase 2 of the Lake Erie Economic Impact Analysis and Western Lake Erie Report Card.

        Lucas County, Toledo and Oregon would each provide one-third of the funding for the project.

        “There was an analysis that quantified challenges to the lake about a year ago, which was Phase 1,” said Oregon City Administrator Mike Beazley.

        Council provided funding in the 2018 budget to work cooperatively with Toledo and Lucas County for a Lake Erie economic impact analysis and a western Lake Erie report card. The studies are considered important steps in the ongoing efforts to find solutions to the long term algae challenge in the lake. The goal is to follow the successful model developed in Chesapeake Bay that dealt with similar environmental challenges, and has now turned a corner toward improvement.

        The Chesapeake Bay watershed spans six states and the District of Columbia. Decades of poor water quality in the bay and its tidal tributaries was caused by nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment that entered the water from various sources, including agricultural operations, urban runoff, wastewater facilities, septic systems, air pollution and other sources. To restore its health, the Environmental Protection Agency set limits on the pollution for the 64,000 square miles of Chesapeake Bay watershed. States are responsible for implementing plans to achieve those limits by 2025.

        “Local governments are looking to explore steps that can make a difference,” said Beazley. “One of the challenges has been the investment of a lot of money on finding solutions to the algae problem in Lake Erie, which has not necessarily produced results. We believe that there are some steps we can take that will help us emulate places that have turned the corner and have gotten results. Right now, we think this is the path that helps us turn the corner.”

Lake Erie

        Lake Erie is the source for Oregon’s drinking water and is used extensively for boating, fishing, birding and other recreational and natural resource activities. Pollution from excess phosphorous and nitrogen are causing harmful algal blooms with toxins in the lake and its tributaries.

        Phosphorous runoff, primarily from agricultural lands, is feeding cyanobacterial (blue green algae) growth in the warm shallow waters of the western basin.

        In 2014, half a million Toledo water customers in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan could not access clean drinking water for two days after microcystin, a toxin created by algal blooms, was detected in Toledo’s water supply. Microcystin can cause nausea, vomiting, and liver damage if ingested. Although a toxic algal bloom in the Maumee Bay was causing the contamination, Oregon, which has its own water treatment plant, was not affected by the water advisory that was issued to Toledo water customers.

        The Oregon water intake located in western Lake Erie is impacted by harmful algae that can contain toxins. The harmful algal toxins require water treatment systems to have extensive monitoring and capital intensive treatment systems that are costly to Oregon’s water users.

        There is a need to reduce harmful algal blooms in the western basin of Lake Erie and its tributaries. Oregon has about four miles of shoreline on Maumee Bay in the Western Lake Erie watershed.

       

Report card

        This study will allow Oregon to develop better economic data in order to best demonstrate the value of a healthy Lake Erie to the region. The establishment of a report card and grading system (A to F) will document progress or the lack thereof in Western Lake Erie watersheds due to nutrient runoff in western Lake Erie using the format established in Chesapeake Bay and other watersheds around the world. A report card would track improvements or the lack of them in western Lake Erie watersheds, encouraging each watershed to meet the targeted reduction goals and would improve communication and demonstrate the urgent need to reduce the nutrient load from all runoff sources in western Lake Erie.

        Oregon will fund up to $55,000 for the project. The city does not expect to use all of the funds budgeted for the project. The communities will continue to seek additional grant dollars that may further reduce the local cost of the project. The report card and economic study services will be provided by Key Logistics and the University of Maryland Center. The Lake Erie Foundation will serve a coordinating role with the communities and the service providers at no cost.

       

       

       

 

bush

Did you watch any of the TV coverage of President George H.W. Bush?
1154631371 [{"id":"299","title":"Yes. He was a great president.","votes":"16","pct":39.02,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"300","title":"No. I didn't care much for him as president.","votes":"14","pct":34.15,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"301","title":"No. I was busy.","votes":"11","pct":26.83,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /component/communitypolls/vote/109-bush No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...