algae http://michiganradio.org en Pushing to expand the ban on a lawn care ingredient http://michiganradio.org/post/pushing-expand-ban-lawn-care-ingredient <p>Algal blooms <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/warmer-waters-fuel-toxic-algal-blooms-great-lakes">continue to plague Lake Erie</a>. Farms and wastewater have gotten a lot of attention for contributing nutrients that create these harmful blooms.</p><p></p><p>More recently, the spotlight has focused on lawn care. Grass fertilizers can also contain phosphorus that winds up in waterways. Michigan and other states around the Great Lakes have already banned lawn fertilizers that contain phosphorus. Now international regulators and others are pushing Ohio and Pennsylvania to do the same.</p><p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:27:03 +0000 Julie Grant 17405 at http://michiganradio.org Pushing to expand the ban on a lawn care ingredient What can be done about algae blooms and dead zones in Lake Erie? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-can-be-done-about-algae-blooms-and-dead-zones-lake-erie <p>If you lived in Michigan in the 1960s and '70s, you will remember: Lake Erie was on the "critical list." It was once declared dead.</p><p>But it got back on the road to health and recovery until the mid-1990s.</p><p>That's when the lake started showing signs of distress, with large algae blooms and dead zones showing up again.</p><p>Now comes a <a href="http://ecofore.org/resources/final-report/">report</a> from an international agency that keeps a close eye on the health of the Great Lakes, and it is a clarion call to action. Among the agencies contributing to the report is the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan.</p><p>Don Scavia, director of the Graham Sustainability Institute, joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 19:58:10 +0000 Stateside Staff 16813 at http://michiganradio.org What can be done about algae blooms and dead zones in Lake Erie? More action needed to clean up Lake Erie, says international agency http://michiganradio.org/post/more-action-needed-clean-lake-erie-says-international-agency <p>Massive algae blooms and dead zones in Lake Erie: T<span style="line-height: 1.5;">hese used to be major environmental problems around the most urbanized Great Lake back in the '</span>60s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and '</span>70s<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, but they are problems once again.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Now, an international agency that keeps an eye on the health of the Great Lakes is calling for more action.</span></p> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 17:43:42 +0000 Mark Brush 16640 at http://michiganradio.org More action needed to clean up Lake Erie, says international agency Why are Great Lakes birds dying from botulism? http://michiganradio.org/post/why-are-great-lakes-birds-dying-botulism <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Imagine walking down a picturesque beach along Lake Michigan, and stumbling upon the carcasses of dead birds. That’s a very real and unpleasant problem along Lakes Michigan, Huron, Ontario and Erie. (It’s not as big of an issue in Lake Superior because of the lake’s colder water temperatures.)</span></p><p>Loons and other deep-diving birds are suffering from a disease called avian botulism. It’s form of food poisoning that kills wild birds in the Great Lakes ecosystem.</p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 12:58:00 +0000 Kyle Norris 15717 at http://michiganradio.org Why are Great Lakes birds dying from botulism? Lake Erie to be focus of Ohio legislative group http://michiganradio.org/post/lake-erie-be-focus-ohio-legislative-group <p>COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A bipartisan group of Ohio lawmakers plans to make Lake Erie the focus of discussions next year.</p><p></p> Sun, 15 Dec 2013 20:08:04 +0000 The Associated Press 15697 at http://michiganradio.org Lake Erie to be focus of Ohio legislative group Study finds food supplies drop in Lakes Huron, Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/study-finds-food-supplies-drop-lakes-huron-michigan <p>TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Food supplies for fish and other organisms are declining in some areas of the Great Lakes, particularly Lakes Huron and Michigan, according to a <a href="http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/12/05/biosci.bit001.abstract">newly released scientific report</a>.</p> Sun, 15 Dec 2013 15:38:13 +0000 The Associated Press 15695 at http://michiganradio.org Study finds food supplies drop in Lakes Huron, Michigan 'Lake Erie has 2% of the water in the Great Lakes, but 50% of the fish' http://michiganradio.org/post/lake-erie-has-2-water-great-lakes-50-fish <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The stat comes from Jeff&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Reutter</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, Director of Ohio State University's Stone Laboratory.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">He says the converse is true for Lake Superior. It holds 50% of the water, but just 2% of the fish.</span></p><p>It's a rough estimate, he says, but it gives you a good understanding of how each of the five Great Lakes have unique characteristics, which present unique challenges in managing these lakes.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As part of <a href="http://michiganradio.org/topic/warm-water-fish-changing-great-lakes">our series on how climate change is affecting the Great Lakes</a>, </span>Reutter<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> spoke to us about how Lake Erie is especially vulnerable to temperature variations. It is the southernmost, and the shallowest of the five Great Lakes.</span></p><p>He also spoke about how, unlike the other four Great Lakes, Lake Erie is surrounded by agriculture and a more urbanized landscape.</p><p>You can listen to him speak about his "50 and 2 Rule" here:</p><p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1BQqYFzHq4">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1BQqYFzHq4</a></p><p>Lake Erie has seen a resurgence in algal blooms over the last ten years. It was once a big problem in the 60s and 70s, and it has returned as a problem again.</p><p> Tue, 05 Nov 2013 17:48:20 +0000 Mark Brush 15125 at http://michiganradio.org 'Lake Erie has 2% of the water in the Great Lakes, but 50% of the fish' Algal blooms causing concern in northern lakes http://michiganradio.org/post/algal-blooms-causing-concern-northern-lakes <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For years Lake Erie has been the poster child in the Great Lakes for the problem of toxic algae.</span></p><p>More recently, though, the problem has been showing up farther north around Lake Michigan.</p><p>Figuring out the causes of the algal blooms can be tough since watersheds are complex systems but some environmentalists are pointing the finger at corn. It&rsquo;s a valuable cash crop today and could be a growing part of the farm landscape in the Great Lakes in the years ahead.</p> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 13:05:58 +0000 Peter Payette 14758 at http://michiganradio.org Algal blooms causing concern in northern lakes Warmer waters fuel toxic algal blooms in the Great Lakes http://michiganradio.org/post/warmer-waters-fuel-toxic-algal-blooms-great-lakes <p>Big, ugly algal blooms are reappearing in the western basin (and sometimes the central basin) of Lake Erie.</p><p>The blooms happen when excess nutrients – mostly phosphorus – run off into the lake from farms and sewage treatment plants.</p><p>Some of these kinds of algae produce toxins that are among the most powerful natural poisons on Earth.</p><p>Over the past decade, these algal blooms have been common in Lake Erie. And scientists predict climate change could make the problem worse.</p><p> Fri, 04 Oct 2013 13:03:16 +0000 Rebecca Williams 14710 at http://michiganradio.org Warmer waters fuel toxic algal blooms in the Great Lakes What is causing the Green Bay dead zone and can it be fixed? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-causing-green-bay-dead-zone-and-can-it-be-fixed <p>There's a "dead zone" in Green Bay.</p><p>That may sound like a title of a Stephen King novel, but it is happening in Lake Michigan's Green Bay. A growing dead zone with so little oxygen that fish can't survive. Neither can smaller critters.</p><p>Don Scavia is an aquatic ecologist with the University of Michigan and the director of the Graham Sustainability Institute. He joined us today to talk about what’s causing this dead zone and what can be done to fix it.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 17:11:38 +0000 Stateside Staff 14153 at http://michiganradio.org What is causing the Green Bay dead zone and can it be fixed? Green Bay is developing a large 'dead zone' http://michiganradio.org/post/green-bay-developing-large-dead-zone <p>Lake Michigan’s Green Bay is developing dead zones similar to those found in Lake Erie and the Gulf of Mexico. In these zones, the oxygen content in the water is so low, virtually no fish, insects, or worms can survive.</p><p>According to a report by the Associated Press, in a public webinar on Thursday scientists said the dead zone may cover as much as 40% of the Bay. Tracy Valenta, a water resources specialist for the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District, said that the zone starts approximately eight miles northeast of the city and may extend more than 30 miles.</p> Fri, 16 Aug 2013 20:01:11 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14031 at http://michiganradio.org Green Bay is developing a large 'dead zone' University of Michigan researchers test algae as fuel source http://michiganradio.org/post/university-michigan-researchers-test-algae-fuel-source <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">For some, algae can be a lakeside nuisance. But for a team of University of Michigan research, it might be the key ingredient for a new fuel.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The National Science Foundation recently granted a $2 million grant to a group of ecologists, engineers, and biologists to investigate green algae’s potential as a biofuel.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The main goal for the researchers: Find what combinations of algae make the most efficient fuel source.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">From the <a href="http://ns.umich.edu/new/multimedia/slideshows/21612-biodiversity-and-biofuels-u-m-researchers-land-2m-grant-to-cooperate-with-nature-on-growing-algae-for-energy">University of Michigan’s News Service</a>:</span></p><blockquote><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">“People have suggested that species diversity might increase the efficiency of algal biofuel systems, but nobody has set up the experiments to test it directly. These will be the first experiments to systematically manipulate the number and types of species in the system to determine how to maximize the yield and stability of algal biofuel,” said ecologist and team leader Bradley Cardinale.</span></p></blockquote><p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 17:13:04 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13773 at http://michiganradio.org University of Michigan researchers test algae as fuel source More algae in Lake Erie http://michiganradio.org/post/more-algae-lake-erie <p>A significant amount of blue-green algae is expected in the western basin of Lake Erie this summer. This year’s algal bloom will be about 1/5 as bad as what happened in 2011.<br><br>2011 was one of the worst years on record for the explosions of algae growth.</p><p>Sandy Bihn is with the citizens-based group, <a href="http://www.lakeeriewaterkeeper.org/">Lake Erie Waterkeeper</a>. She says the blooms are caused "by too much phosphorous, too much runoff from the land, too many wastewater overflows, sewage deposits, storm water runoff, and manure rolling from the land into the water."</p> Sun, 21 Jul 2013 17:34:25 +0000 Kyle Norris 13622 at http://michiganradio.org More algae in Lake Erie MSU study celebrates marriage of algae gene to a weed http://michiganradio.org/post/msu-study-celebrates-marriage-algae-gene-weed <p>Michigan State University researchers are celebrating the marriage of a weed and an algae gene -- and its value as a potential biofuel.&nbsp;</p><p>The team found that adding an algae gene to mustard weed caused the plant to store oil in its leaves, and the technique could be used to get more energy out of plants grown for bio-fuel. Tue, 26 Feb 2013 21:25:10 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 11430 at http://michiganradio.org MSU study celebrates marriage of algae gene to a weed