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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
The phrase "going green" is not a good thing if you're referring to Lake Erie, but that's the case as algae blooms begin to spread.
Dave Spangler has been working as a charter boat captain for more than 20 years, and says algae blooms are becoming a serious threat to Ohio's $1 billion per year fishing industry.
"From early August through as late as mid-October, it is present in the lake in various places. Almost 90 percent of my customer base is from out of state. People come in, they see this, they say, ‘Well, I won't come back during this season.' I've had those comments before," said Spangler.
As a member of the Lake Erie Waterkeeper organization and being a water quality advocate, he's trying to raise awareness about the need to reduce phosphorus-laden materials from getting into the lake.
"Be it the farmer that over applies fertilizer, be it a sewage system that gets overrun by storm water, be it a private owner that has a septic system on their land that may not be functioning correctly. People away from Lake Erie are not aware of this issue nearly as much, or they think they may not be part of the problem," explained Spangler.
Spangler says communities along the lakefront could be severely impacted if the problem is not addressed properly.
"The lakeshore counties account for over a third of the tourism business industry in Ohio," said Spangler.