The Lake Erie Waterkeeper group hosts a tour of the Maumee every summer. This year was especially important because of the growing algae bloom in Lake Erie. More than two dozen people took a two-hour look at the river and nearby facilities that impact its condition.”I wanted to learn about the phosphorus issue and the health of our Great Lakes and the whole region and what we as citizens can do to help remedy the situation,” says Gary Majeski, a member who tagged along from the Sierra Club. “This is a real opener. Everybody in Toledo should go on one of these tours to learn about the sources of water and what we can all do to help it.”
Tour participants got a full lesson about the connection between waterways and the negative ways phosphorus sources can feed the bloom. Manure, storm water, fertilizer and waste water all contribute to the problem.
“It heightens awareness, and it hits home when people are more interested…perhaps they’ll get more involved,” says Sandy Bihn, the Lake Erie Waterkeeper Executive Director.
Tour leaders plan to have another cruise next summer, and hopefully recruit more water advocates for the Maumee River and Lake Erie.
“I think it was very instructive and important for us to see that the problem that we have and had is very fixable, so it’s time to fix it,” says State Representative Teresa Fedor. “But it needs to start today. It is an absolute urgent matter, and we can’t waste another day to do this.”