TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A panel that advises the U.S. and Canadian governments about the Great Lakes will make Lake Erie's excessive phosphorus levels and algae blooms a priority for study over the next three years.
The International Joint Commission said this week that it's assembled teams of experts to examine the worsening algae situation and recommend practices by farms, cities and industries that could reduce nutrient runoff into the lake.
Huge mats of blue-green algae have clogged parts of Lake Erie's surface in recent years. Some is toxic to fish and other animals. It also litters beaches with rotting vegetation that chases away tourists.
Other commission teams will assess progress toward fixing long-term environmental problems such as toxic pollution across the Great Lakes region and ways to improve access to scientific data.