Lake Erie is plagued with a host of problems. In the late summer, high phosphorus levels from farming lead to the formation of algal blooms in the middle of the lake which creates an anoxic zone. Additionally, Lake Erie is experiencing problems with coastal erosion from violent storm events and issues with invasive species. Both the Zebra Mussel and the Asian Carp have been found in Lake Erie. The Asian Carp, in particular, can be devastating to a marine ecosystem because of their ravenous and indiscriminate diet.
I live near Lake Erie, and I’ve seen firsthand some of the problems with this environment. It’s been closed several times in the past years due to E. coli infestations. Additionally, the zebra mussel has definitely invaded. Rather than smooth sand, the beach is made up of crunchy shells from these creatures. Several power plants, including the nuclear plant Fermi, are located on the shoreline as well, posing other potential problems.
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