Runoff From Mega Farms Causing New Lake Erie Toxic Algae Plague
The Maumee River dumps runoff into Lake Erie, feeding massive algae blooms that mess up water sports pretty good.
Having recovered from several generations of sewage related industrial pollution, Lake Erie faces a new threat that is somewhat more insidious: a nasty toxic algae that coats about 20% of the lake surface with green slime. In addition to smelling bad, it is creating a growing dead zone at the lake bottom by sucking oxygen out of the water. A related effect, of course, is increasing the mortality rate for the fish population, who are more or less hanging on after the zebra mussel invasion, waiting for the Asian Carp. The heavy green stuff can actually clog boat motors and generate rotting masses of indistinguishable provenance to wash ashore and make beach goers disgusted.Runoff from the ever growing factory farms in Ohio combined with an unprecedented pattern of torrential spring rains are combining to create agricultural runoff in levels never seen before. The heavy rain falls wash phosphorus-based fertilizers from corn and soybean fields and into waterways, eventually changing the eco system of the lakes. It’s large scale mono-culture farming at its best, as GMO driven farming practiceshave reduced plowing in favor of herbicides and fertilizer. In some instances, farmer can indeed produce more….for a while. But with problems such as green slime, dead zones, superpests and superweeds starting to pierce the dull smugness of corporate media, the rapidly rising cost of food might become an issue.This year, it’s supposed to get worse.