Canada, let’s save Lake Erie!

By Marcelo Kawanami

This last week an urge to protect Lake Erie against algae bloom was spread out in allnews across Canada and the US. This is a recurrent problem in Lake Erie mainly caused by the phosphorus runoff into the lake that feed algae. The excessive blooming of algae produces harmful toxins and contributes to oxygen-deprived “dead zones” where fish cannot survive.

Lake Erie in July 2013

According to recent reports regarding this topic, different sources of phosphorus runoff have emerged – primarily large farms, where manure and other fertilizers are washed into tributary rivers during storms and snowmelt. They accounted for more than half of the phosphorus that reached the lake in 2011, while one-third came from smaller farms and nearshore communities as well as city sewers.

The satellite picture above was taken last July and showcases the spread of algae along the shores of Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, affecting the beaches of Chatham-Kent, Ontario.

To know more about this topic and get involved, we recommend two organizations that are focused on the Great Lakes protection and conservation:

• International Joint Commission: http://www.ijc.org/en_/
• GLSLCI: http://www.glslcities.org/index.cfm

The protection of lakes and the education of communities surrounding wetlands are core purposes for Gamiing. Visit our website (www.gamiing.org) to know more about our initiatives and projects in the Kawartha Lakes region!

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