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Sat Aug 2, 2014, 05:41 PM

A little info about Lake Erie algae blooms -

50 years ago, there was still significant dumping into the Great Lakes. Lake Erie is especially vulnerable because it is so shallow. The lake used to heat up every summer - I want to say up to 80 degrees + I can recall swimming in the lake as a little kid, and the water wasn't cold at all.

Algae blooms used to be an annual event. In Erie County NY (Buffalo) you could estimate the amount of algae in the water just by smelling your shower - there was a nasty undertone drowned out by copious amounts of chlorine. The bathroom ended up smelling like a swimming pool.

That's what I recall. I can't say that the algae blooms then were the same species as those hitting Toledo now. My husband recalls people getting sick on the water, and that his folks used to switch to well water for the summer.


So - it looks like global warming is hitting 50 years of progress in restoring the lakes. If the lakes are getting warm, it will make for an interesting winter. Lake effect snows occur until the lakes substantially freeze over.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 06:11 PM

1. Algae blooms are common spring/early summer events in WI lakes

Nutrients in the water column from winter loss of stratification are the cause of most of the blooms rather than nutrient run-off from golf course and agriculture..

But blue-green algae is particular problem in S WI for both people and dogs. Happens almost every year in a deep but small glacial pot-hole lake near me. And sometimes is a problem in bays and harbors on Lake Michigan

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 06:19 PM

2. It's mainly due to agricultural runoff.

Algae just love the phosphorus from the fertilizers. The further north you go in the Great Lakes, the less the problem with the algae. Less agriculture up north.
Even the zebra mussels are affected by the runoff. There are higher concentrations of the mussels in areas of higher runoff, due to increased calcium levels. The little suckers hate colder water and low calcium (i.e. Lake Superior)

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 06:22 PM

3. 50 or so years ago, I would travel down this highway with mom and dad to see

 

grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles. I can still smell the godawful smell of sulphur.... I cannot imagine how many millions of tons of crap were dumped into the lake back then for years/decades. The tanning factory that used to sit on the bank of the Cattaraugus Creek must have surely dumped its own waste into the creek for many many years and that creek dumps into lake Erie.... I found some photos and I knew people who worked there when I was rather young. Please note the color of that smoke, you just know it was an environmental tragedy in those days. On edit to add pic of Bethlehem Steel site, today's version, yes that is Lake Erie that it sits on:



And this is/was the tannery:
|

The Eastern Tanners Glue Company was established in Gowanda in 1904 by German immigrant Richard Wilhelm and two other
investors. Wilhelm eventually bought the company entirely and, over the next 30 years, purchased nearly every major glue
manufacturer in the U.S. and Canada. He changed the name of the company in 1930 to the "Peter Cooper Glue Corporations," as
the result of the purchase of the Peter Cooper Glue company. Wilhelm became known nationally as "The Glue King." His product,
dried flaked glue, was used in countless ways by other manufacturers to make matches, plywood, book binding, electrolytic metal
refining, shoe soles, household cleaners, etc.

This gives an idea as to how close and "convenient" the creek was, salmon used to run this river/creek and I hope they still do.



On Edit to ADD how the weathy sometimes affect our planet:
The process of glue-making consisted primarily of boiling tanned hides and fleshings to extract the collagen. The waste products,
"cookhouse sludge," contained tanning chemicals such as chromium, arsenic and zinc. These sludges were stored on the property
and, in the 1970's, also in a nearby location . After the factory closed in 1985, investigations by the NYS Department of
Environmental Conservation determined that serious ground water, surface water (Cattaraugus Creek), surface soil and subsoil
contamination by these carcinogens was present. Remediation was carried out to contain and minimize the leaching of these
chemicals, but the problem continues. The Gowanda site was named one of the EPA's worst waste sites in 1998, and placed on
its National Priorities List.

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Response to DocwillCuNow (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 08:58 PM

6. Thanks for your memories and the photos....

We shipped the Tanning/Glue Factories over to China...and they are living through the pollution we sent them.

Wonder if we couldn't have cleaned this up with better technology and kept the jobs here in USA if there was a will to do it rather than shipping the "dirty, polluting jobs" overseas... We will never know.

I hope the salmon come back to your location. I wish we would do more to clean up our pollution now that the jobs are gone we should at least be able to have clean waters and air as the trade off. Yet it doesn't seem to work out that way.

Those of us who have memories of what was need to keep posting as long as we can. "History" in the MSM doesn't seem to focus on these issues anymore. Younger folks need to know what was before and compare it with today. Hopefully some change will come so that we can clean the mess up if we have to live with Walmart and all our stores purchases from China where we shifted our pollution and gave people starving wages as our unions died over here when the jobs left...(dirty as those jobs were).

Recommend!

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Response to KoKo (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:29 AM

7. Thank you for the heartfelt response... I made a major error in that post, left out links to

 

the sites, they are not "my" pictures, and the links are well worth reading, short but very important information there...

http://wnyheritagepress.org/photos_week_2004/gowanda/gowanda_glue_factory.htm

It is quite fitting for this thread that I found this photo at an environmental cleanup website, please do check this out: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/51458.html

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Response to KoKo (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 09:40 AM

9. We get an annual salmon run in Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Oswego River and on the Salmon River

I think NYS re-stocks the lake with young fish every year because the dams on the Oswego River keep the fish from reaching spawning grounds.


Sad to say - there's a lot of good fishing here on Lake Ontario, the rivers and Lake Neahtahwanta , but there are warnings about eating too many fish because of the mercury, PCB and dioxin content.


http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/fish/health_advisories/regional/

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Response to DocwillCuNow (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 09:35 AM

8. I'm up in Oswego County now, so i could be wrong, but

as far as I know, the Bethlehem site is now nothing but foundations and volunteer growth. I believe there are several windturbines on the site, and that it will soon be a major site for the manufacture of solar panels:

http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/17/news/companies/solarcity-silevo/

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 09:47 AM

10. What they should do, what they could do is court this company, it would be a great technology

 

to introduce to the region. These people, simply put are "magicians". They have started production in Brazil, using biomass from sugarcane most likely. They are partnered with Algenist, and are working on a flour derived from algae. Having issues with gluten, I would welcome it with open arms. United Airlines has flown or continues to fly a route with their jet fuel.

[link:http://www.solazyme.com|

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Response to DocwillCuNow (Reply #10)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 09:51 AM

12. I think it's a done deal I can't wait until the factory starts

turning out product!

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:56 AM

13. I looked... and sure enough they are there...

 

[link:|

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 08:38 PM

4. Erie County, PA here. Lake effect, wheee!

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 08:48 PM

5. My farm pond is having another algae bloom. Pretty common this time of year. Pond turned over

 

last 2 weeks because of a cold snap. All the nasty crap on the bottom comes to the surface and then turns into floating algae. Escaping gasses in bottom sludge does the same thing.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 09:51 AM

11. I remember that in August we cannot swim in our inland lake because of what we call dog days.

Wonder if that is the same thing as algae blooms?

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