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Freshwater Science Products

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Freshwater Science: Using Bacteria to Remove Microcystin from Drinking Water

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Freshwater Science: Using Bacteria to Remove Microcystin from Drinking Water

Many Ohio communities draw their drinking water from Lake Erie, so making sure that any harmful algal bloom toxins are removed before the water reaches consumers is essential to maintaining public health.

While water treatment plants currently use activated carbon, ozonation, and other methods to treat for algal toxins, Dr. Jason Huntley at The University of Toledo, with previous funding from the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative and current funding from NOAA-PCMHAB is developing new cost-effective, efficient, and safe methods to remove algal toxins from drinking water, using bacteria that naturally break down microcystin toxin into non-toxic component parts. The team was issued a patent on this technology in May 2021.

Event Archive

DURATION: 41 mins

Freshwater Science Teaser: A Toxin Forecast for Lake Erie’s Harmful Algal Blooms

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Freshwater Science Teaser: A Toxin Forecast for Lake Erie’s Harmful Algal Blooms

Scientists are currently able to accurately forecast the size and approximate location of Lake Erie’s summer harmful algal blooms, but they still have questions about what controls when blooms become toxic, and how to predict which algal toxins the bloom is likely to produce.

Dr. Justin Chaffin at Ohio State’s Stone Lab is studying the environmental factors that cause Lake Erie algal blooms to become toxic or remain non-toxic, to provide more guidance to water utilities on when they should plan to treat drinking water for algal toxins.

Freshwater Science: Can Walleye See the Bait on the Hook?

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Freshwater Science: Can Walleye See the Bait on the Hook?

Walleye fishing in Ohio significantly contributes to the state’s $1.9 billion sportfishing industry, but the fish are experiencing significant changes to their environment due to harmful algal blooms. For these visual hunters, those changes affect finding food and mates, and anglers who fish for walleye may have to change their approach to selecting lures.

Dr. Suzanne Gray at The Ohio State University is linking walleye vision, murky waters from harmful algal blooms and lure colors to determine the impacts algal blooms can have on visual hunters like walleye and on the success of Lake Erie’s sportfishing industry.

Event Archive

Freshwater Science Teaser: Lake Erie Algae in the Depth of Winter

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Freshwater Science Teaser: Lake Erie Algae in the Depth of Winter

Although harmful algal blooms happen in the summer, the algae themselves are year-round residents of the water bodies they inhabit – but very little is known about other times in the annual cycle of blooms. For Lake Erie, ice cover and extreme weather conditions in winter and spring prevent regular monitoring and safe sampling.

By partnering with the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards, Dr. Mike McKay at the University of Windsor can take advantage of those ships’ ice-breaking capabilities to sample offshore waters in winter and early spring, before state and federal agencies start their monitoring efforts.

Event Archive

DURATION: ~ 1 min

Freshwater Science Teaser: The Value of Lake Erie Beaches

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Freshwater Science Teaser: The Value of Lake Erie Beaches

Beach visits play an important role in Ohio’s $15 billion tourism industry, but water quality issues like harmful algal blooms and E. coli outbreaks can negatively affect beachgoers and discourage them from returning to a favorite spot. The economic impact of these water quality issues is not well understood yet, but estimates of this reduced economic welfare from 2019 are as high as $5.8 million.

Dr. Brent Sohngen at The Ohio State University is working on determining the value of Lake Erie beaches to the state’s overall economy, and how that value is affected when water quality issues like harmful algal blooms occur.

DURATION: ~ 1 min

Freshwater Science Teaser: Monitoring New Contaminants in Public Drinking Water Sources

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Freshwater Science Teaser: Monitoring New Contaminants in Public Drinking Water Sources

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), including antibiotics, are emerging contaminants in water that are not completely eliminated during water treatment. Because these compounds can affect human and wildlife health, it’s important to assess their presence in drinking and wastewater.

Dr. Jen Mou at Kent State University is developing new methods to detect these compounds, to help guide approaches for dealing with contaminants like them in the future. The team also wants to determine if the presence of a bacterial gene that codes for antibiotic resistance can predict levels of antibiotic contamination in water samples.

DURATION: ~ 1 min

Freshwater Science Teaser: Why Environmentally Conscious Shoppers Don’t Bring Reusable Bags

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Freshwater Science Teaser: Why Environmentally Conscious Shoppers Don’t Bring Reusable Bags

Single-use plastic bags are everywhere in society, but despite their convenience, they can have negative impacts on the environment and on waste management. Farmers markets seem like a logical place to encourage the use of reusable bags, but when Jill Bartolotta and Dr. Scott Hardy from Ohio Sea Grant examined the effects of giving out free reusable bags at the Ohio farmers markets, they found that just having bags available is not an effective approach to reducing the use of plastic bags. Instead, communities should consider focused approaches like bag bans and education and outreach strategies, as well as financial and policy incentives.

DURATION: ~ 1 min

Freshwater Science Teaser: Using Bacteria to Remove Microcystin from Drinking Water

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Freshwater Science Teaser: Using Bacteria to Remove Microcystin from Drinking Water

Many Ohio communities draw their drinking water from Lake Erie, so making sure that any harmful algal bloom toxins are removed before the water reaches consumers is essential to maintaining public health.

While water treatment plants currently use activated carbon, ozonation, and other methods to treat for algal toxins, Dr. Jason Huntley at The University of Toledo, with funding from the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative is developing new cost-effective, efficient, and safe methods to remove algal toxins from drinking water, using bacteria that naturally break down microcystin toxin into non-toxic component parts. The team was issued a patent on this technology in May 2021.

Event Archive

DURATION: ~ 1 min

Freshwater Science Teaser: Can Walleye See the Bait on the Hook?

OHSU-CAST-1693
Freshwater Science Teaser: Can Walleye See the Bait on the Hook?

Walleye fishing in Ohio significantly contributes to the state’s $1.9 billion sportfishing industry, but the fish are experiencing significant changes to their environment due to harmful algal blooms. For these visual hunters, those changes affect finding food and mates, and anglers who fish for walleye may have to change their approach to selecting lures.

Dr. Suzanne Gray at The Ohio State University is linking walleye vision, murky waters from harmful algal blooms and lure colors to determine the impacts algal blooms can have on visual hunters like walleye and on the success of Lake Erie’s sportfishing industry.

Event Archive

DURATION: ~ 1 min

Additional Q&A for Freshwater Science: Fungal-Like Disease Detection in Aquaculture Operations

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Additional Q&A for Freshwater Science: Fungal-Like Disease Detection in Aquaculture Operations

Event Archive

LENGTH: 1 page

Freshwater Science: Fungal-Like Disease Detection in Aquaculture Operations

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Freshwater Science: Fungal-Like Disease Detection in Aquaculture Operations

Aquaculture is a growing industry in Ohio and the Great Lakes region, providing farm-raised seafood ranging from crawfish to walleye. And just like land-based farms, fish farmers spend a lot of time making sure their animals are healthy.

Dr. Vipa Phuntumart and her team at Bowling Green State University have developed a method to detect Saprolegnia, a fungal-like pathogen that can result in an estimated loss of $40 million to U.S. aquaculture operations every year, in water samples from fish farms. This way, the fish can be treated with eco-friendly options before they show symptoms.

Event Archive

DURATION: 39 mins

Freshwater Science Teaser: Fungal-Like Disease Detection in Aquaculture Operations

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Freshwater Science Teaser: Fungal-Like Disease Detection in Aquaculture Operations

Aquaculture is a growing industry in Ohio and the Great Lakes region, providing farm-raised seafood ranging from crawfish to walleye. And just like land-based farms, fish farmers spend a lot of time making sure their animals are healthy.

Dr. Vipa Phuntumart and her team at Bowling Green State University have developed a method to detect Saprolegnia, a fungal-like pathogen that can result in an estimated loss of $40 million to U.S. aquaculture operations every year, in water samples from fish farms. This way, the fish can be treated with eco-friendly options before they show symptoms.


Event Archive
 

Freshwater Science: Using Genetics to Manage Lake Erie Walleye Fisheries

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Freshwater Science: Using Genetics to Manage Lake Erie Walleye Fisheries

Walleye is an important Lake Erie species, supporting both commercial and recreational fisheries. Management agencies need ways to identify how local spawning populations contribute to the lake-wide fish population, so they can continue to keep Lake Erie’s walleye fisheries naturally reproducing and sustainable.

Dr. Stuart Ludsin at The Ohio State University has developed a genetic tool that can differentiate between walleye from the eastern versus western basins of Lake Erie and successfully helped agencies to better understand the contributions of different spawning locations to the eastern basin’s commercial and recreational fisheries.


Event Archive
 

DURATION: 40 mins

Freshwater Science Teaser: Using Genetics to Manage Lake Erie Walleye Fisheries

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Freshwater Science Teaser: Using Genetics to Manage Lake Erie Walleye Fisheries

Walleye is an important Lake Erie species, supporting both commercial and recreational fisheries. Management agencies need ways to identify how local spawning populations contribute to the lake-wide fish population, so they can continue to keep Lake Erie’s walleye fisheries naturally reproducing and sustainable.

Dr. Stuart Ludsin, with funding from the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, has developed a genetic tool that can differentiate between walleye from the eastern versus western basins of Lake Erie and successfully helped agencies to better understand the contributions of different spawning locations to the eastern basin’s commercial and recreational fisheries.

Event Archive

DURATION: ~ 1 min

Freshwater Science Trailer: Using Genetics to Manage Lake Erie Walleye Fisheries

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Freshwater Science Trailer: Using Genetics to Manage Lake Erie Walleye Fisheries

Walleye is an important Lake Erie species, supporting both commercial and recreational fisheries. Management agencies need ways to identify how local spawning populations contribute to the lake-wide fish population, so they can continue to keep Lake Erie’s walleye fisheries naturally reproducing and sustainable.

Dr. Stuart Ludsin, with funding from the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, has developed a genetic tool that can differentiate between walleye from the eastern versus western basins of Lake Erie and successfully helped agencies to better understand the contributions of different spawning locations to the eastern basin’s commercial and recreational fisheries.

Event Archive

DURATION: ~ 1 min

Freshwater Science: Health Impacts of Algal Toxins in the Context of Chronic Illnesses

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Freshwater Science: Health Impacts of Algal Toxins in the Context of Chronic Illnesses

Algal toxins affect the liver, gastrointestinal system and kidneys, and may have a more severe effect in the context of pre-existing conditions.

Dr. David Kennedy and Dr. Steven Haller at The University of Toledo, with funding from Ohio Sea Grant and the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, are examining these effects to help provide new guidelines for safe exposure levels to algal toxins for people with chronic illnesses. They also aim to develop new tests that can measure toxin exposure at very low levels, which can suppress common liver injury markers in some patients, and to create therapies to treat the organ damage caused by algal toxins.

Event Archive

DURATION: 49 mins

Additional Q&A for Freshwater Science: Health Impacts of Algal Toxins in the Context of Chronic Illnesses

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Additional Q&A for Freshwater Science: Health Impacts of Algal Toxins in the Context of Chronic Illnesses

Additional Q&A for Freshwater Science: Health Impacts of Algal Toxins in the Context of Chronic Illnesses


Event Archive
 

Freshwater Science Teaser: Health Impacts of Algal Toxins in the Context of Chronic Illnesses

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Freshwater Science Teaser: Health Impacts of Algal Toxins in the Context of Chronic Illnesses

Algal toxins affect the liver, gastrointestinal system and kidneys, and may have a more severe effect in the context of pre-existing conditions.

Dr. David Kennedy and Dr. Steven Haller at The University of Toledo, with funding from Ohio Sea Grant and the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, are examining these effects to help provide new guidelines for safe exposure levels to algal toxins for people with chronic illnesses. They also aim to develop new tests that can measure toxin exposure at very low levels, which can suppress common liver injury markers in some patients, and to create therapies to treat the organ damage caused by algal toxins.

Webinar Archive

DURATION: ~ 1 min

Freshwater Science: Stopping Algal Bloom Toxins at the Kitchen Tap

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Freshwater Science: Stopping Algal Bloom Toxins at the Kitchen Tap

Harmful algal bloom toxins are a common concern for people living along the Lake Erie shoreline, where drinking water is often drawn from the lake.

In addition to removing these toxins during water treatment, Ohioans may have another tool at their disposal: Dr. Glenn Lipscomb’s research, funded by the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, has shown that reverse osmosis membranes, an essential component of home water purification systems, can remove algal toxins from drinking water. The mechanism by which toxins are removed will be discussed along with tests for commercially available units.

DURATION: 37 mins

Additional Q&A for Freshwater Science: Removing Algal Toxins from Drinking Water with Activated Carbon

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Additional Q&A for Freshwater Science: Removing Algal Toxins from Drinking Water with Activated Carbon

Additional Q&A for Freshwater Science: Removing Algal Toxins from Drinking Water with Activated Carbon

Webinar Archive

LENGTH: 3 pages

Freshwater Science: Removing Algal Toxins from Drinking Water with Activated Carbon

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Freshwater Science: Removing Algal Toxins from Drinking Water with Activated Carbon

During harmful algal bloom season, algal toxins can be common in drinking water drawn from Lake Erie. Water treatment plants are well set up to manage this issue for their customers, and often use powdered activated carbon to remove toxins, but they lack data on proper dosage depending on toxin types, toxin concentration and water properties.

Dr. John Lenhart, with funding from Ohio Sea Grant and the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, is developing these guidelines and sharing them with water treatment plant operators along the Lake Erie shoreline to help reduce the cost of safe drinking water.

DURATION: 38 mins

Freshwater Science Trailer: Removing Algal Toxins from Drinking Water with Activated Carbon

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Freshwater Science Trailer: Removing Algal Toxins from Drinking Water with Activated Carbon

During harmful algal bloom season, algal toxins can be common in drinking water drawn from Lake Erie. Water treatment plants are well set up to manage this issue for their customers, and often use powdered activated carbon to remove toxins, but they lack data on proper dosage depending on toxin types, toxin concentration and water properties.

Dr. John Lenhart, with funding from Ohio Sea Grant and the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, is developing these guidelines and sharing them with water treatment plant operators along the Lake Erie shoreline to help reduce the cost of safe drinking water.

A half-hour webinar on the same topic is also available.

DURATION: ~ 1 min

Freshwater Science Teaser: Removing Algal Toxins from Drinking Water with Activated Carbon

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Freshwater Science Teaser: Removing Algal Toxins from Drinking Water with Activated Carbon

Freshwater Science Teaser: Removing Algal Toxins from Drinking Water with Activated Carbon

DURATION: ~ 1 min
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