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School of Environment and Natural Resources


​Scientists seek diagnostic tool for harmful algal blooms

Dec. 28, 2017
Algal blooms like this one, in the Olentangy River, might be prevented with new diagnostic tool.

Identifying high-risk waterways early could circumvent crisis later
This news release originally appeared on the website of The Ohio State University and was written by Misti Crane.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Harmful algal blooms in rivers and streams are neither well-understood nor easily predicted, and researchers at The Ohio State University are hoping to change that.

With a three-year $681,343 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a team of Ohio State scientists plans to develop a widely applicable system for assessing watershed health and determining when a crisis is looming.

“If we can create a diagnostic tool that can be used in watersheds of all types, it will allow us to better manage and prevent major problems relative to nutrient enrichment and harmful algal blooms,” said Mažeika Sullivan, the study’s leader and director of Ohio State’s Olentangy River Wetland Research Park.

“We want to take the science and create a tool for natural resources agencies, educators and watershed-protection organizations so that we can be less reactive and more proactive,” Sullivan said.

Much of the previous work on harmful algal blooms in Ohio has focused on the Lake Erie watershed. With this project, Sullivan and his collaborators aim to uncover more information about waterways in the Ohio River basin, and in the river itself.

Read the full news release written by Misti Crane here.