Algal bloom is exactly what it sounds like – algal abundance in an aquatic area, but they aren’t nearly as aesthetic as floral blooms; rather they have hazardous consequences. Large algal blooms have returned to Lake Erie, which lies between Canada and United States, bounded by the cities Ontario, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan. Algal blooms at Lake Erie have been spotted even on satellite photographs.
Algal bloom is a cause of concern for this lake since it is now considered to be more cleaner than ever before, having been infamous for excessive pollution during the 1960’s -70’s, probably the lasting after effects of the industrial revolution. In any case this return of algal bloom is a mystery even to scientists. Algal blooms are results of excess nutrients in the form of phosphorus in any aquatic area. Algae flourish in such areas and compete with other plant species for space, since they multiply rapidly. Most other plants die and this dead organic matter supplies enough food for bacteria which decompose it and in the process use up the dissolved oxygen in the water, leaving insufficient or no oxygen for other organisms to survive, causing a dead zone to persist. So other animals like fish and small mammals die, and swimmers might have rashes.
Suburban development once again may inevitably be the cause of this return of algal bloom at Lake Erie, the fourth largest lake of the five Great lakes. On one end officials are already working on killing the thick algae and treating the bad smell and taste of the water. But killing the algae also increases organic matter in the lake thus repeating the cycle.