Report: Fertilizer, manure top Lake Erie phosphorus sources

February 14, 2018
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A U.S.-Canadian agency says there's little doubt that commercial fertilizer and manure are the top sources of phosphorus pollution in western Lake Erie.

The International Joint Commission says its science advisory board based the conclusion on an extensive analysis of existing data about the shallowest of the Great Lakes.

Excessive phosphorus feeds toxic algae blooms that have plagued Erie in recent years and created a "dead zone" where are too low for fish to survive.

The commission says its review focused on the lake's western basin and the St. Clair-Detroit River system, which flows into Lake Erie.

The analysis found that excess fertilizer phosphorus stored in farm soils and nearby ditches, and wetlands could affect nutrient levels in the lake for years or even decades.

Explore further: Algae on river flowing into Lake Erie prompts warning

Related Stories

Feds: Lake Erie algae bloom in 2015 was largest on record

November 10, 2015

The algae bloom that spread across Lake Erie this summer was the largest on record and left behind a thick, paint-like scum that covered an area roughly the size of New York City, government scientists said Tuesday.

Environmentalists sue government for Lake Erie's toxic algae

April 25, 2017

Environmental groups in Ohio and Michigan sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday, accusing it of dragging its feet on protecting Lake Erie from harmful algae that have fouled drinking water supplies in recent ...

Recommended for you

New study brings Antarctic ice loss into sharper focus

February 21, 2018

A NASA study based on an innovative technique for crunching torrents of satellite data provides the clearest picture yet of changes in Antarctic ice flow into the ocean. The findings confirm accelerating ice losses from the ...

'Chameleon' ocean bacteria can shift their colors

February 21, 2018

Cyanobacteria - which propel the ocean engine and help sustain marine life - can shift their colour like chameleons to match different coloured light across the world's seas, according to research by an international collaboration ...

Stable gas hydrates can trigger landslides

February 21, 2018

Like avalanches onshore,many processes cause submarine landslides. One very widespread assumption is that they are associated with dissociating gas hydrates in the seafloor. However, scientists at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.