When Toledo, Ohio had to advise its residents not to drink their tap water in 2014, it was because an organism called Microcystis had formed an algal bloom in Lake Erie, the source of Toledo’s water. This bloom was one of several types of Harmful Algal Blooms, also known as HABs. In this presentation, we will discuss the origin of HABs, why they are prevalent in some waters, and what we can do to decrease their presence. We will then turn to a group of chemicals that has recently been in the news called PFAS. PFAS were widely used in industry to make products stain and grease resistant and waterproof. They are now in Michigan’s groundwater and surface water in various areas of the state. We will discuss the known and unknowns about these chemicals, where they are being found in Michigan, and their potential effects on fish, wildlife, and people.
Dr. Lois Wolfson, PhD, is a Water Quality Senior Specialist with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Institute of Water Research at MSU. She also serves as the State Water Quality Coordinator for MSU Extension. Dr. Wolfson received her MS in Botany and PhD in Fisheries and Wildlife from MSU. She can be reached at email@example.com.