labs_title

Global solutions to regional problems: Collecting global expertise to address the problem of harmful cyanobacterial blooms. A Lake Erie case study

G.S. Bullerjahn, R.M. McKay, T.W. Davis, D.B. Baker, G.L. Boyer, L.V. D’Anglada, G.J. Doucette, J.C. Ho, E.G. Irwin, C.L. Kling, R.M. Kudela, R. Kurmayer, A.M. Michalak, J.D. Ortiz, T.G. Otten, H.W. Paerl, B. Qin, B.L. Sohngen, R.P. Stumpf, P.M. Visser and S.W. Wilhelms

Recent cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) have had substantial economic and health impacts, in the United States and around the world. This paper takes Lake Erie as a prototypical example, and summarizes expert opinion on the state of the art in several aspects related to CHABs, including their drivers, monitoring, modeling, prediction, mitigation, economic impacts, and future trends.


Figure: Image of CHAB in west-central Lake Erie captured on July 28, 2015 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. The CHAB enveloped the Lake Erie islands and continued into Canadian waters east of Point Pelee. The persistent CHAB in Sandusky Bay is also visible. Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and US Geological Survey.

Abstract

In early August 2014, the municipality of Toledo, OH (USA) issued a ‘do not drink’ advisory on their water supply directly affecting over 400,000 residential customers and hundreds of businesses (Wilson, 2014). This order was attributable to levels of microcystin, a potent liver toxin, which rose to 2.5 μg L−1 in finished drinking water. The Toledo crisis afforded an opportunity to bring together scientists from around the world to share ideas regarding factors that contribute to bloom formation and toxigenicity, bloom and toxin detection as well as prevention and remediation of bloom events. These discussions took place at an NSF- and NOAA-sponsored workshop at Bowling Green State University on April 13 and 14, 2015. In all, more than 100 attendees from six countries and 15 US states gathered together to share their perspectives. The purpose of this review is to present the consensus summary of these issues that emerged from discussions at the Workshop. As additional reports in this special issue provide detailed reviews on many major CHAB species, this paper focuses on the general themes common to all blooms, such as bloom detection, modeling, nutrient loading, and strategies to reduce nutrients.

Bullerjahn, G.S., R.M. McKay, T.W. Davis, D.B. Baker, G.L. Boyer, L.V. D’Anglada, G.J. Doucette, J.C. Ho, E.G. Irwin, C.L. Kling, R.M. Kudela, R. Kurmayer, A.M. Michalak, J.D. Ortiz, T.G. Otten, H.W. Paerl, B. Qin, B.L. Sohngen, R.P. Stumpf, P.M. Visser, S.W. Wilhelms (2016), "Global solutions to regional problems: Collecting global expertise to address the problem of harmful cyanobacterial blooms. A Lake Erie case study", Harmful Algae, 54, 223–238, doi:10.1016/j.hal.2016.01.003.