Algal blooms and dead zones are a persistent problem not only in Lake Erie and the Great Lakes, but also in other economically important marine environments in the United States. The annual dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, for example, is expected to reach 14,000 square kilometers (5,400 square miles) this year — near its average. The dead zone in the Chesapeake Bay is predicted to occupy 8.2 cubic kilometers, which is slightly above average. The Chesapeake dead zone is measured in volume rather than surface area because the bay is so shallow. These areas can also suffer from toxic algal blooms, though the species of algae differ from those found in Lake Erie.
Photographs in this gallery were taken from people around Michigan to showcase the algal blooms occurring within the Great Lakes. Take part and share your photos. Use #circleofblue and #GLalgae to post your pictures on Instagram and Facebook.
Frankfort, Michigan. Photo by Carol KorreckGood Harbor Beach, October. Photo by Robin TrebilcockGood Harbor Beach, October. Photo by Robin TrebilcockGood Harbor Beach, October. Photo by Robin TrebilcockGood Harbor Beach, October. Photo by Robin TrebilcockLake-Michigan. Photo by Lloyd DeGrane, Alliance for the Great LakesHammond, IN. Beach algae east of Stateline Power Plant. Photo by Lloyd DeGrane, Alliance for the Great LakesManitowoc, Wisconsin. Photo by John Karl, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant InstituteBay City, Michigan. Photo by Jeff Kart. LeRoy Kart (pictured) bet his son, Jeff Kart, he could walk through the muck to the water at the Bay City state park. He lost.