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The Lake Show

Posted by Eric Roy on Fri, July 18, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

Algae LakersThose of you who are sports fanatics may recognize the description given to the Los Angeles Lakers of NBA fame, typically when referring to some of their many highlights and championship moments achieved over the years.  Having lived my entire life in the Midwest I am no Lakers fan, but I do recognize greatness when I see it (and I think that Magic Johnson is one of the 5 greatest players that has ever played the game).  Anyhow, growing up in Michigan allowed me to visit all 5 of the Great Lakes, 4 of which surround Michigan (do you know which one does not touch my home state?), and these lakes, along with the thousands of inland lakes in Michigan and the Midwest are among my favorite places on Earth.  Fresh water lakes comprise the true Lake Show, and unfortunately many are under siege from Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs); a significant and growing worldwide problem.

HABs have a number of causes, including runoff from farm fields that contains phosphorus-based fertilizers; a real problem for the western basin of Lake Erie among many other locations. If you are looking for more information on Lake Erie in particular, check out this excellent information from Dr. Jeffrey Reutter from the Ohio Sea Grant program.  Anyone who has seen pictures of Lake Erie  in 2011 (not to mention numerous inland lakes over the years, including this year) might ask “what can I do?”  Well, there actually are many tools in the toolbox, some of which are available and/or described at www.beaglebioproducts.comIf you are already have a vested interest in HABs as a homeowner, lake manager, water treatment plant operator, researcher, regulator, etc., we have monitoring tools and testing services available that could be helpful.  Also, as described in a blog written by my partner Stephanie Smith, there is important legislation has recently been signed by President Obama, the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013, which can provide critical funding for this issue.  Your support for funding this Act could make an important difference in its effectiveness. 

There is no doubt that we face an uphill climb to successfully deal with HABs and their impact around the world.  However, with awareness and concentrated efforts hopefully we can make progress towards the preservation of the real Lake Show!

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