A group of local and national officials took a boat ride to the algal bloom near the City of Toledoâ€™s water intake facility in Western Lake Erie.Â
â€œOver the next day youâ€™re going to hear a lot about technical solutions. You are going to hear about how we can do a little bit more treatment and how we can help address the immediate crisis,â€ Oâ€™Mara said. â€œThe reason I wanted to get folks out on the water today is thereâ€™s a systemic challenge that we face here in the Great Lakes thatâ€™s actually much bigger than this one crisis. And unfortunately this crisis could just be the tip of the iceberg unless we begin to address it.â€National Wildlife Federation (NWF) CEO Collin Oâ€™Mara, NWF Manager of Regional Outreach Frank Szollosi, NWF Board of Directors member Bruce Wallace, Toledo City Councilman Larry Sykes, Lake Erie Waterkeeper Executive Director Sandy Bihn, Ohio 46th District Rep. Mike Sheehy, a representative from Rep. Marcy Kapturâ€™s office and local media members were among those on board.
Itâ€™s more than just run-off from industry and farmersâ€™ fields, but run-off from fertilizer individual people use on their lawns, the overuse of manure and more, as well as affected by natural causes. The consequences affect not only residents but wildlife, fisheries, businesses such as charter boats, tourism and more.
â€œIf we donâ€™t all pull together to address these nutrient challenges weâ€™re going to continue to see these kinds of events occur over and over again,â€ Oâ€™Mara said. â€œWe need to address the short term crisis but we need to think long-term.â€
â€œWhat you do here in response to this crisis could become a bit of national model,â€ he said.â€This is my worst nightmare, not being able to drink the water,â€ Bihn added. â€œBut maybe its a opportunity to find the solutions we need.â€Â
Click hereÂ for the latest information on the Toledo water crisis
Click hereÂ for a list of water distribution points
Click hereÂ for more photosÂ
Click hereÂ for more coverage from the Toledo Free Press