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LANSING — Michigan Agri­Business Association (MABA) president Jim Byrum and Michigan League of Conservation Voters (LCV) deputy director Jack Schmitt issued the following joint statement today, responding to forecasts showing an algae bloom developing in Lake Erie:

“Algae blooms such as the one currently forecast in the western Lake Erie basin are a serious problem with a host of causes, including extreme weather, climate change, combined sewage overflow, malfunctioning septic systems and agriculture. Algae blooms threaten drinking water, recreation and many other uses of our precious water resources. That’s why we need collaboration to identify and implement real solutions. It will take all of us working together to address this critical issue.

“Agriculture and conservation leaders must work together to fully understand the causes of algae blooms and identify real solutions, including how to best address modern runoff concerns stemming from dissolved reactive phosphorus. This will require aggressive research to identify the causes of algae blooms and identify new and better tools to address this problem.

“We are approaching the one-­year anniversary of harmful algae blooms that wreaked havoc on the water supply in Toledo and Southeast Michigan. The current forecast reminds us that we need all hands on deck and everyone working together to protect water quality throughout our region. This won’t be easy, and there is no quick fix, but we at the Michigan Agri­Business Association and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters look forward to developing new partnerships to tackle this difficult issue, so we can ensure our water is safe.”