Chicago, IL (June 29, 2023) – Earlier today, NOAA and its research partners released the annual western Lake Erie harmful algal bloom forecast. In response, Alliance for the Great Lakes Agriculture and Restoration Policy Director Tom Zimnicki made the following statement:
“Regardless of this particular forecast’s results, it is abundantly clear that the region will not meet the 2025 phosphorus reduction targets the Ohio and Michigan state governments set for the Western Basin of Lake Erie. Our lack of overall progress, particularly on reigning in agricultural nutrient losses, means the basin will continue to experience algal blooms, tourism will suffer, and municipal ratepayers will continue to foot the bill for any meaningful phosphorus reductions entering the basin. Despite hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, both Michigan and Ohio — the states with the lion’s share of the basin’s drainage area — remain woefully behind in regard to the necessary financial investment and acres of conservation practices in the watershed. It is imperative that the states outline a new, more rigorous strategy to address nutrient loading in the basin that goes beyond the status quo approach.”
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