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Water Management Associations
Roundup Contributes to Algal Blooms
Drs. R. Michael McKay and George Bullerjahn of Bowling Green State University are studying the impact of glyphosate on the strains of blue-green algae found in Lake Erie.

Lake Erie, like many other waterways have been experiencing harmful blue-green algal blooms in recent years. Phosphorus has long been known to act as fuel to blue-green algae, and efforts to limit phosphorus loading in the Lake Erie watershed in the 1970s helped reduce algal blooms. However, the last 15 years have seen an increase in the growth of toxic blooms, contributing to an ever bigger Dead Zone in the lake’s Central Basin and massive fish kills each summer.

Glyphosate, a phosphonate and the main ingredient in the commonly used herbicide, Roundup is believed to be a phosphorus source causing the more recent blooms. Roundup is getting into the watershed at peak farming application times, particularly in the spring.

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Delavan Lake Dredging Clears Natural Filter - In the late 1980s, Delavan Lake turned into an algae soup by mid-summer that discouraged swimming, clogged boat motors and killed off game fish. Farm and residential development around the lake poured nutrient-rich runoff into the watershed and into the lake. Those nutrients fed the algae blooms. Today, a project to redredge the channel in the narrow inlet which was designed to store and collect the sediment flowing into it before it reaches the open water.

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