Ohio wants farmers to help reduce Lake Erie algae

JOHN SEEWER Associated Press Published:

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio's farmers are being asked to help cut down on the amount of fertilizer and manure that flows into Lake Erie where massive algae blooms have killed fish and driven away tourists.

State officials studying Lake Erie's growing algae problem say they won't force farmers to make any changes right away, but they could down the road. They hope that farmers will adjust when and where they use fertilizers on their own.

The recommendations released Thursday say the state isn't singling out farmers.

It's widely believed that phosphorus runoff from farms and waste treatment plants is a main contributor to the algae outbreaks.

Ohio officials called the algae blooms that popped out last summer the worst in memory, causing beach closures along Lake Erie and driving away boaters and anglers.