Green Buckeye RN

Associated Press: Ohio Lake’s Algae Dangerous To Swimmers, Economy
July 6, 2010, 10:53 am
Filed under: News

By JOHN SEEWER, The Associated Press
Updated 5:13 PM Friday, July 2, 2010
ST. MARYS, Ohio — Patches of green and turquoise slime floated like thick paint in the channel behind Kyle Biesel’s home. His pontoon boat sat covered up, unused for weeks, on a wooden lift stained by the algae.

A foul smell enveloped the backyard where he used to fish and watch blue herons glide over the water. He called it a “sickening combination of manure and propane gas.”

Even more alarming, tests reveal that the waters in Ohio’s largest inland lake contain dangerous toxins with the potential to cause rashes, vomiting or even liver and nerve damage. State officials say it’s no longer safe for swimming and skiing.

It’s causing economic and environmental distress for hundreds of people who work along Grand Lake St. Marys in western Ohio, an area already hurt by manufacturing cuts that have contributed to Ohio’s highest unemployment rates in a quarter century. Tourism brings an estimated $216 million into the area with much of that coming from visitors to the lake.

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