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PNS Daily Newscast - July 17, 2018 


Trump says he is not buying U.S. intelligence as he meets with Putin. Also on the rundown: as harvest nears farmers speak out on tariffs; immigrant advocates say families should not be kept in cages; and a call for a deeper dive to the Lake Erie algae troubles.

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Toxic Algae Blooms in Lake Erie Made Worse by Global Warming

Early Spring rains are bringing more phosphorous from farm fields to rivers and stream and eventually Lake Erie, where record Algae blooms are now being recorded.
Early Spring rains are bringing more phosphorous from farm fields to rivers and stream and eventually Lake Erie, where record Algae blooms are now being recorded.
April 30, 2013

LANSING, Mich. - Massive algae blooms have been poisoning Lake Erie in recent years. The blooms foul beaches and kill fish and other wildlife that are important to the lake's ecology and economy. A report from the National Wildlife Federation says global warming is making the blooms worse.

According to Peter Richards, senior research scientist at the National Center for Water Quality Research at Heidelberg University, spring storms are stronger and coming earlier than before, causing more farm runoff, which adds more phosphorus to rivers and streams feeding Lake Erie.

"The difference that one can have in the algal blooms is a consequence of how much phosphorus or even how much water comes down the tributaries that bring phosphorus," he said. "So, 2011 was wet, with lots and lots of phosphorus; in fact, the most we've seen since 1975."

Richards noted that better farming practices helped curb erosion from farm fields in the 1970s.

"The erosion-control practices cut down the phosphorus attached to the sediment," he related. "But we started seeing these increases in dissolved phosphorus, and that has continued from the mid-'90s until, at the present time, we have greater quantities of dissolved phosphorus going into the lake."

The NWF report includes solution ideas for state and national lawmakers to consider. Lawmakers in Washington are working on revamping the national Farm Bill, which could include grants and subsidies to help farmers use more environmentally-friendly farming practices.

View the report at NWF.org.

Rob South, Public News Service - MI