Newswise — BOWLING GREEN, O.—From China to Austria to northwest Ohio,the problem of toxic algal blooms is one that affects millions of people across the world. Last summer, toxic algae in Lake Erie forced the city of Toledo to issue a “do not drink” advisory that affected over 500,000 people in the region.

Bowling Green State University is helping to tackle this problem head on. University algae researchers will host a workshop featuring the top experts from around the world discussing how to deal with the growth of harmful algal blooms. “Global Solutions to Regional Problems” will be held April 13 and 14 on campus.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the goal of the workshop is to discuss the current science on bloom formers, along with identifying knowledge gaps regarding bloom prevention and remediation.

Additionally, discussion of case studies on current and prior remediation programs will help guide the development of a workshop paper that presents potential future strategies for bloom prevention, mitigation and long-term research goals.

At the conclusion of the workshop, a NOAA-sponsored open forum will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. April 14 in 101 Olscamp Hall where future research priorities and current best practices will be presented.

BGSU biology faculty and algal bloom researchers Drs. George Bullerjahn and Mike McKay organized the workshop with NOAA scientist and collaborator Tim Davis. They have studied such nuisance blooms throughout the Great Lakes, especially bloom-forming cyanobacteria in western Lake Erie, Sandusky Bay and Grand Lake St. Marys in west-central Ohio. Their labs use molecular genetic techniques to track the origins and abundance of toxic cyanobacteria throughout the bloom (summer) season.

Bullerjahn said the workshop will provide a fresh perspective on the problem. "Many productive discussions have happened regionally since last year's Toledo water crisis, but cyanobacterial blooms happen everywhere," he said. "Hearing from experts who study these blooms worldwide can provide a broader perspective on how these events can be managed."

Workshop presenters include: Boqiang Qin, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, China; Rainer Kurmayer, Universität Innsbruck, Austria; Hans Paerl, University of North Carolina; Steve Wilhelm, The University of Tennessee; and representatives from NOAA and the Environmental Protection Agency.


Editor's Note: Media interested in attending this event should contact Jen Sobolewski, Marketing and Communications, BGSU, at [email protected]

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