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University gets $3M grant for Detroit River algae study

University of Michigan researchers have been awarded $3 million to study how the Detroit River contributes to algae blooms plaguing Lake Erie.


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - University of Michigan researchers have been awarded $3 million to study how the Detroit River contributes to algae blooms plaguing Lake Erie.

The Erb Family Foundation is providing the three-year grant to the university's Water Center.

Scientists will measure the effectiveness of "green infrastructure" projects in Detroit designed to manage stormwater overflows, which can send phosphorus into the Detroit River and western Lake Erie during storms.

Phosphorus is the primary nutrient for toxin-forming algae blooms that have become a regular summer problem for the lake. Up to half the phosphorus in the lake's western basin came from the river.

In August 2014, algae-related toxins shut down the drinking water supply in southeastern Michigan and the Toledo, Ohio, area for two days. And this year's toxic bloom has been particularly large.

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