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Friday, 06 September 2013 09:45

Researchers develop Great Lakes harmful algae maps

(AREA) -- Scientists at the Michigan Tech Research Institute in Houghton are using satellite data to study harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes. The project generates maps of places where the problem is most severe, including western Lake Erie, Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan's Green Bay. The maps show the location and extent of the algae blooms and where they're raising concerns about water quality and public health. The information will be useful to commercial and sport fishermen, tourists and public water system managers. Harmful algal blooms develop when nutrients from farm and urban runoff fuel runaway growth of algae. The blooms can clog water intake pipes, lower water quality and sicken pets and people. The maps are updated weekly and available to the public at www.mtrihabsmapping.org