Drones Over Lake Erie, Algal Foam & Chromium 6

  • The Environmental Working Group released a report that found toxin Chromium 6 in 30 Northeast Ohio water systems. (The toxin was made famous by Erin Brockovich.) Cleveland.com reported that Ohio EPA director Craig Butler responded to the Environmental Working Group report by saying, “They are manufacturing a concern in the State of Ohio where none exists.” He hinted that he believed the group was “attempting to spread panic as a means of raising revenue to support its research.”
  • Via proxy representatives, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump expressed support for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at a conference on September 22. Trump’s surrogate was former Ohio Division of Wildlife Chief Mike Budzik while Clinton’s stand-in was long-time Department of the Interior employee David Hayes.
  • With funding from both the state government and the University of Toledo, Dayton’s Sinclair Community College began flying drones over Lake Erie to better identify harmful algal blooms. The small unmanned aircraft are equipped with sensors developed in part by NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.
  • San Diego-based inventor Rob Falkan has developed a sustainable foam from the sort of toxic algae plaguing Lake Erie. His company, BLOOM, can produce components for shoes, surfboards and yoga mats from the rubber-like foam.
  • Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie expects to release responses from the Lake Erie water quality-minded survey the group sent out to the 39 candidates running to represent Ohio in the U.S. Senate and House. Responses to the survey, which encourages candidates to lobby the U.S. EPA for Lake Erie’s Western Basin to be labeled as “impaired,” will be released shortly before the November 8 general election.

On the engaged citizens front, activist group Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie
is holding its next meeting Wednesday, October 19,
at Grace Lutheran Church (4441 Monroe St., Toledo).
Stop by the gathering (which kicks off at 6:30pm) and pick up a yard sign.
Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of every month.

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