Farmers sail Lake Erie to learn about algae blooms | Michigan Farm News

Farmers sail Lake Erie to learn about algae blooms

Category: Crops

by Janelle Brose, Farm News Media

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Southeast Michigan farmers recently spent a day on the water learning how to further protect, preserve and enhance water quality in the Great Lakes. In recent years, the 10,000-square-mile Lake Erie has experienced algal blooms that form as a result of phosphorus runoff. Too much phosphorus — and the lake’s very shallow depth and warm water — make the western basin of Lake Erie even more prone to harmful algal blooms.

Newport cash crop farmer Rob Masserant joined the boat tour along with his daughter’s Cassidy and Sydney.

“I had some friends that had went on this tour last year, and they told me it was well worth a trip to understand the magnitude of it,” Masserant said. “We see it on the news, and we have seen aerial photos…but I wanted to realize it firsthand. I also wanted to have my daughters experience it so we could continue to do measures to prevent this and to help it recede over the next generation.”

The Lake Erie Sail was made possible by the Erb Family Foundation. The daylong event included presentations by the Monroe Conservation District, the River Raisin Institute and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program.