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Excessive Nutrients Damaging Great Lakes Region
Soupy blue-green algae blooms in the Great Lakes is an ominous sign of suffering water quality that poses health risks for people who depend on the lakes for drinking water, food, and recreation, according to a U.S. – Canadian report.

Excessive levels of nutrients such as phosphorus are producing some of the worst cases of eutrophication – runaway growth of algae and other aquatic plants – since the 1970’s. Among suspected causes are overflows from inadequate municipal sewage treatment and septic systems, plus runoff of livestock manure and fertilizers from large farms.

Other emerging threats include poorly regulated chemicals found in products such as medicines and flame retardants, groundwater contamination and damage from quagga mussels and other invasive species, the report said. Most of the dangers are showing in the “near shore zone,” which includes the Great Lakes’ shallow waters as well as wetlands, tributaries, and groundwater that feed them.

 
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Giant Hogweed - Native to the Caucasus region and Central Asia, giant hogweed has spread across New York and New England as well as sprouting up in parts of Maine. Its height, broad leaves, and floral umbrellas has made it favorite for ornamental gardeners which prompted the spread.


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