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March 21, 2013

Getting Eerie in Lake Erie

For Lake Erie residents and visitors, the spring rains are more of a curse than a blessing. It's these rains that predict how serious the summer algae blooms will be: the more frequent and heavy the downpours, the worse the outbreak. In 2011, the toxic algae covered a sixth of Erie's waters, contributing to the expanding dead zone on its bottom, reducing fish populations, fouling beaches and crippling a tourism industry. To cut the phosphorus levels that contribute to the growth in algae, scientists say that the farming habits and equipment along the Erie shore must change. 

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