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Environment


Portman praises toxic algae research bill expands Great Lakes research
President Obama signs the bill as Ohio enters its season of alerts about the toxic blooms
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Algae blooms emit a neurotoxin that can damage the liver.
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In The Region:

President Obama today signed a bill today that beefs up research on toxic algae blooms – especially on the Great Lakes.

The bill was sponsored by Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, and reauthorizes money for research that was first enacted in 1998. Portman says the blooms have had huge economic – as well as environmental – repercussions.

LISTEN: Portman on the cost of the blooms

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“A huge issue for us back hope for tourism and our tourism economy generally, but specifically for some of these municipalities that are spending lots of money right now. Toledo – millions of dollars …  Celina, hundreds of thousands of dollars – just to be able to clean their water because of these toxic algae blooms.”

Last month, the Ohio EPA issued swimming warnings because of the  blooms, which emit a neurotoxin, on several inland lakes.  And the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates U.S. seafood and tourism industries are hit with more than $80 million a year in losses tied to the blooms.

 

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