Erie to Superior: You're great but you're weird

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010

The Great Lakes tend to be lumped together, but one lake can be very different from another, as I learned when I spent the weekend at Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island (next to Put-in-Bay) as part of my Great Waters Institute journalism fellowship.

Jeff Reutter, director of Ohio Sea Grant, dramatizes the contrast between Lake Superior and Lake Erie with what he calls the 50 to 2 ratio. Lake Superior has 50 percent of the water of the Great Lakes, but only 2 percent of the fish. Lake Erie has only 2 percent of the water in the Great Lakes, but 50 percent of the fish.

Lake Erie, the warmest and shallowest lake, is the most biologically productive lake because it has the most nutrients -- phosphates and nitrates that mostly come from fertilizers farmers spread on their fields. The chemicals stimulate the growth of organisms that provide food for the fish. But the load of chemicals in the lakes is going up -- soluble phosphates have been rising since 1995 -- and that has stimulated increases in harmful algal blooms, which put toxins in the water. Water quality in Lake Erie has been doing down since 1995, Reutter says.

Comments

Crackhead

what a beautiful story Tom. now about real journalism. can i borrow your credentials and press badge? there are some questions i'd like answered. you people don't really seem interested. although your story did include water. and some chemicals.

Crackhead

EPA: Margaretta water violating purity standards

By TOM JACKSON | Thursday February 28 2008, 6:34am

MARGARETTA TWP.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has cited Erie County's water system for violating contaminant standards for drinking water in the Margaretta area.

It is Erie County's first citation for exceeding Ohio EPA standards for total trihalomethanes, a chemical produced when drinking water is disinfected, said Dina Pierce, an EPA spokeswoman.

The Ohio EPA says people who drink water with too many trihalomethanes for too long could eventually have problems with their liver, kidneys or central nervous systems or have an increased risk of getting cancer.

Read the full story now in our complete online newspaper or in Friday's Register.

Crackhead

now that you have seen the story again, how about a response? is it more important for the commissioners, nuesse, mcclung, perdusky saga to fill every page? why not get the answers we can't? call the EPA and ask them. heck, even i got info from them. i've already asked nick and matt and nothing was answered and there was no story. maybe i could get Bubblegum Holly to help us.

Anonymous

..."the GREAT LAKES are a diamond on the hand of NORTH AMERICA..."pwgas

Anonymous

Lighten up, it is a blog entry not a story.

Anonymous

I think that many of us are missing crakhead's point. The newspaper did an initial story on contaminated water present in the Margaretta system. Yet, there was no follow through. Why? What keeps our staff from "press"ing for facts, from seeing the story through from beginning to end? If this was affecting you and your loved ones' health, I am sure you would feel differently. This is NOT THE FIRST TIME THAT CRACKHEAD HAS MADE THIS REQUEST. I think it is time for the SR staff to recover some of its stories (including the promise to divulge the settlement terms proposed in the Dwelle/McClung trial as promised).

Anonymous

If this was affecting my families health I would make them drink bottled water. Do not rely upon the government (at any level) for anything.

Anonymous

Lake Erie, the warmest and shallowest lake, is the most biologically productive lake because it has the most nutrients -- phosphates and nitrates that mostly come from fertilizers farmers spread on their fields. --

So where are all the fish and fisheries that used to be a feature of Sandusky?

Crackhead

Tom sure writes pretty stories. what about my water Tom? i have nothing but time. where are those credentials?

Anonymous

Therein li8es the problem. If you cannot trust the government with your water source, the bottled waters may be no better. A science project just 2 years ago showed that nearly all bottled waters available locally are just as bad as the water from the tap. It still doesn't dismiss the fact that the SR is standing in the shadows again, waitin for the story to bite them.

Anonymous

Crackhead,
When the state releases the new test results for Margaretta's water, I will follow up. I believe those results are released quarterly.

Anonymous

Tom,

Please let us know if you or any other reporters will be doing a followup story on the Margaretta water situation. Please use your "blog" as a way to communicate information that we don't traditionally get out of that one way conversation referred to as the print product.

Thanks,

Patrick

Crackhead

thank you, Tom.