Following Release of Lake Erie Algal Bloom Study, Brown Calls for Improved Monitoring, Conservation Efforts in Western Lake Erie Basin

Study Notes that Allen, Auglaize, and Mercer Counties are High Priority Sites for Improved Monitoring

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the release of Northeast-Midwest Institute’s report on reducing harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) called for improved water quality monitoring in the Western Lake Erie Basin. The Institute, in partnership with the United States Geological Survey, found that water quality monitoring in the area is not robust enough for researchers to determine whether agricultural management practices are working. The report also noted that high priority areas, including Allen, Auglaize, and Mercer Counties, are lacking needed monitoring.

“Increasing water quality monitoring in high priority areas will help ensure that researchers have the data they need to develop effective solutions for combatting harmful algal blooms,” Brown said. “Better data will allow us to better target our conservation funding. We must continue to take a proactive role in protecting Lake Erie.”

Brown continues to work to preserve our Great Lakes. In May, Brown applauded news that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had announced a health advisory laying out guidelines for effective monitoring of and treatment of microcystin, a provision of his Safe and Secure Drinking Water Act.

In March, Brown announced that the EPA had awarded more than $4.3 million to combat harmful algae blooms in northwest Ohio through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), an interagency effort to protect the Great Lakes. In February, Brown cosponsored the Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act (GLEEPA), bipartisan legislation that would protect the Great Lakes – and the millions of jobs they support – by formally authorizing the GLRI. Last year, Brown helped secure more than $300 million in bipartisan Omnibus Bill funds for the GLRI. After the release of President Obama’s budget proposal which recommends a reduction in GLRI funding from $300 million to $250 million, Brown again highlighted the importance of the program.