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Researchers creating warning system for toxic algae in lakes

An aerial view of algae blooms in Lake Erie.
NOAA DERIVED IMAGE FROM EUMETSAT COPERNICUS SENTINEL-3A SATELLITE DAT
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NOAA
An aerial view of algae blooms in Lake Erie.

Researchers are working on creating an early warning system that can spot when algae begins showing up on hundreds of lakes across the U.S.

The project sets out to use real-time data from satellites that already monitor harmful algae hotspots on Lake Erie in Ohio and Chesapeake Bay along the East Coast.

The plan is to have it in place within two years across the continental U.S.

Harmful algae blooms on freshwater lakes are becoming a growing concern and can sicken people and pets and contaminate drinking water.

A researcher with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the goal is to use the satellite data to watch for algae on 1,800 lakes across the nation.

He says the data can find algae blooms before they're spotted in the water.

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