Toxic algae is strangling a growing number of lakes, ponds and rivers in Ohio.
A joint report (from the National Wildlife Federation and Resource Media) examining the scale and scope of reported harmful algae blooms in 2013 found outbreaks in seven different locations in Ohio.
Andy Buchsbaum with the National Wildlife Federation describes the effects.
The researchers rank Ohio as 5th highest in the nation in reported toxic algae blooms, but Buchsbaum points out not all states track and monitor the problem. Even those that do, like Ohio, are reporting the tip of the iceberg.
According to the report, extreme weather spurred by climate change is exacerbating the problem. Buchsbaum says another issue is the abundance of fertilizer being used on fields.
Buchsbaum says more federal attention to the problem is needed, including limits to the amount of phosphorous allowed into waters. The Farm Bill, which is currently stuck between the House and Senate, includes funding that helps farmers protect water quality.