The algae are thriving thanks to warm temperatures and nutrients from agricultural operations (like phosphorus) running into the water. If ingested by humans, they can damage organs, irritate nerves, and cause flu-like symptoms; in some animals their toxic byproducts can be fatal. Last August, noxious algae forced Toledo and Southern Michigan to turn off the drinking water, leaving 400,000 people to suck on bottled beverages. So far this month, though, the region’s water is reportedly safe to drink.
Continue reading: The Great Lakes Are Alive With Toxic Ooze