Windsor

Feds kick in $600K to decrease phosphorus, agri-runoff in Lake Erie

The federal Great Lakes Protection Initiative is kicking $600,000 to develop and test technologies that intercept and remove phosphorus from agricultural runoff in southwestern Ontario.

Phosphorus contributes to the large algae blooms in lake Erie and sometimes seep into drinking water

Charter boat captain Dave Spangler holds a sample of algae from Maumee Bay in Lake Erie in Oregon, Ohio, on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Scientists estimate about 85 percent of the Maumee's phosphorus, which promotes algal growth, comes from croplands and livestock operations. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The federal Great Lakes Protection Initiative is kicking $600,000 to develop and test technologies that intercept and remove phosphorus from agricultural runoff in southwestern Ontario.

The Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative say phosphorus entering the system contributes to the growth of harmful algal blooms in the Thames River and Lake Erie.

"Mayors and farm groups have joined forces to find solutions to algal bloom problems in the Lake Erie basin," said Randy Hope, Mayor of Chatham-Kent and the project's co-chair, in a press statement. 

"We're thrilled that Minister McKenna has provided the kind of funding that will allow us to move forward with  practical, hands-on projects to help farmers and municipalities reduce the amount of phosphorus that's getting into our creeks, rivers and lakes."

Beginning this fall, and over the next four years, it will be using the funding to install phosphorus removal technologies and monitor their effectiveness.

The western basin of Lake Erie has regularly experienced massive algal growth that has impacted drinking water sources in recent years.

On July 28, 2015, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured these images of algal blooms around the Great Lakes. The bloom is visible as swirls of green in western Lake Erie. (NASA)

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