Experts to Review State of the Science for Harmful Algal Blooms

Maumee Bay Photo

TOLEDO, Ohio – Fourteen leaders in the fight against harmful algal blooms will convene in Toledo on Sept. 15 to share the latest information on protecting water quality.

Scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Stranahan Theater and Great Hall, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., registration for the Understanding Algal Blooms: State of the Science Conference is $20, including lunch, and is free for students.

Harmful algal blooms are caused by a combination of warm water temperatures and high concentrations of phosphorus in the water. The blooms can produce dangerous toxins, such as microcystin. Toledo residents lost access to drinking water for two days in August 2014 due to high microcystin levels.

Presenters will focus on how to prevent and predict harmful algal blooms and how to remove their toxins from drinking water. Hosted by units of The Ohio State University – Ohio Sea Grant, Stone Laboratory, the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, the college’s outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension – and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, presenters include representatives from agencies, universities and environmental organizations.

Greg LaBarge, agronomic crops field specialist for the college and OSU Extension, will present information on a farmer-led water quality monitoring effort. LaBarge is working with about 100 farmers representing 5,000 acres in the Western Lake Erie Basin to measure how much dissolved reactive phosphorus moves out of fields.

“Farmers will be able to see how much dissolved reactive phosphorus leaves individual fields so they can target high-risk fields with best management practices,” LaBarge said. The study is also looking at how specific practices influence water quality results.

For more information and to register for the conference by Sept. 7, visit



CFAES News Team
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Greg LaBarge