If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen me posting about our trip to the beach this past weekend. I shared in my stories that we couldn’t swim in the lake because the algae toxin levels were too high from the algae bloom.
Lake Erie has been plagued with algae blooms for decades. Algae blooms are formed when warm water temperatures mix with light and nutrients. Since the 1950s, runoff from farms (manure and fertilizer), sewage and industry have caused these blooms to become toxic and harmful. Certain types of algae become abundant in shallow bodies of water and because Lake Erie is so shallow, it often is a catch basin for algae blooms. These blooms are extremely harmful to fish, animal life, and humans.
In 2014 the algae bloom was so horrific, residents in northwest Ohio were unable to drink or use the water for days (this actually fell on the weekend of my bachelorette party. Waking up to no water was not ideal after a night of fun). This incident in particular raised the alarm to the importance of cleaning up and preserving the lake.
As one of five fresh bodies of water (that make up 20% of the world’s fresh bodies of water), it’s really important we do our part to keep Lake Erie clean and free from harmful toxins. Not only do we love the lake for its sandy shores and recreational purposes, but Lake Erie has a huge impact on the local region. Lake Erie provides drinking water to 11 million people. It’s also a large tourism destination and produces the largest amount of consumable fish than all the other Great Lakes combined.
Recent years have seen many individuals, organizations, and brands fighting back and working to clean up and preserve this Great Lake. If you would like to learn more about how you can help conserve Lake Erie, the following organizations are a good place to start. This list is just a start, so if you know of more organizations fighting to preserve our lake, please message me and I will add them to the list.
- Lake Erie Foundation
- Partners for Clean Streams
- Alliance for the Great Lakes
- Lake Erie Islands Conservancy
- Standing Rush
- Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition
If you want to support Ohio brands that also contribute to protecting and promoting the Lake Erie lifestyle, then be sure to check out the list below.
- Erie and Anchor (Five percent of each purchase is donated to the Lake Erie Foundation)
- Coastal Cleveland
- Michelle Brunner Art
- Shore Society
- Lyman Life
And finally, you can do small things now that make a big impact later such as picking up after your pet, adopting a beach, becoming an ambassador to educate others, or volunteering to clean up streams.
Just by reading this post and being here you are already supportive of protecting Lake Erie and for that I thank you!