Many thanks to U.S. Sen. Rob Portman for his July 7 op-ed column, “Fight algae — protect Ohio’s health, economy, environment.” Senator Portman is right to point out that toxic algae blooms are big problems for Ohio’s lakes, rivers, and economy.
The legislation he has co-sponsored to dedicate additional resources to research and development of an action strategy to reduce harmful algal blooms is timely and appreciated.
Senator Portman stops just short of recognizing what science says is one of the chief culprits of algae growth: climate change. Spring and summer rainstorms, made more powerful by climate change, wash fertilizers off farm fields and into Lake Erie, producing even bigger toxic algae blooms.
Climate change also has resulted in warmer lake waters, which harm native perch and walleye populations, and allow invasive species to gain a stronger foothold in our ecosystem.
President Obama last month laid out a bold strategy to address these issues in a comprehensive way. The President’s plan calls for lower greenhouse gas emissions across the board, prepares the country for the effects of global climate change, and positions the United States as a global leader in renewable energy, which will benefit northwest Ohio’s solar industry.
We encourage Senator Portman to support the President’s plan.
TINA SKELDON WOZNIAK
Lucas County Commissioner One Government Center Jackson Street
Lorain County Commissioner Elyria, Ohio
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