“Cleaner Lake Erie” working group launches

State Sen. Mike Skindell will join a select group of 14 legislators for the “Toward a Cleaner Lake Erie” working group’s first meeting, at 1 p.m. this afternoon.

Skindell, who currently represents a densely populated portion of the Lake Erie shore, has warned of the lake’s increasingly dire condition. As ABC news explains,

Algae in water is typically non-toxic and invisible to the human eye, but if allowed to accumulate to levels where it is visibly thick it can become toxic.

At toxic levels, algae can destroy marine ecosystems by killing animals and depleting water of oxygen.

Lake Erie is well past this threshold, Skindell says. “It’s a green muck” in the lake’s western basin.

The problem is worsening, too.

Just a few years ago, the city of Toledo was left with unsafe drinking water because of toxic algae. Last month, algae blooms reached Cleveland’s Edgewater Park, and even Ashtabula.

Skindell has a long record as a champion of clean air and water, and made a concerted effort for inclusion on the Lake Erie working group. He has since met with scientists to prepare thoroughly for the group’s first meeting. “My plan is to be your voice,” he told westshore residents last week.