The University of Toledo will host a public forum to discuss the scientific and health issues surrounding toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie.
The forum, “Harmful Algae in Ohio’s Great Lake,” will be held Tuesday, Aug. 5, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium on Main Campus.
For those unable to make it to campus, the forum will be streamed live at youtube.com/watch?v=j_FRHGtgMIs.
A panel of faculty experts from The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University will discuss how we got to this point of a toxin produced by algae entering Toledo’s drinking water and where the region can go from here to address the issue of harmful algal blooms in western Lake Erie.
The panel discussion will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the live audience as well as with questions submitted via Twitter using the hashtag #toledoalgae.
Researchers from both UT and BGSU have been monitoring algal blooms for years in Lake Erie as well as other bodies of water in Ohio and throughout the world.
“The University of Toledo and its many research centers are uniquely qualified to provide our community the latest scientific information about the issue of harmful algae in Lake Erie and how it impacts northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan,” UT Interim President Nagi Naganathan said. “The forum will be a dynamic discussion of what technological solutions are available and the policy changes needed to address these concerns and the challenge of prevention.”
Forum panelists will include:
• Dr. Carol Stepien, UT Distinguished Professor of Ecology and director of the UT Lake Erie Center;
• Dr. Isabel Escobar, UT professor of chemical and environmental engineering, and expert in water treatment and desalination membrane technology;
• Kenneth Kilbert, UT law professor and director of the Legal Institute of the Great Lakes;
• Dr. Robert McKay, Ryan Endowed Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Bowling Green State University;
• Dr. Thomas C. Sodeman, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences; and
• Dr. Patrick Lawrence, UT professor and chair of geography and planning, who recently led a restoration project of the Ottawa River that flows through UT’s Main Campus.
The free, public event is sponsored by UT’s Lake Erie Center and Urban Affairs Center. Free parking is available in Lot 17 outside the building located off University Hills Boulevard.