Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michigan Shoreline Plagued by Green Scum

from several sources

Visitors in the past few weeks to the Lake Michigan shore from Holland to Ludington have been complaining about green scum. It is unsightly, and many people wonder if there is a health concern.

In some places the discolored area extends as far as 15 feet out from the shore.

The slime has been identified by the Grand Valley State University's Annis Water Resources Institute as a blend of decomposing algae and other plants. The material was all natural and organic. "It is not very healthy looking water, but I don't think there are any health concerns," Alan Steinman of the Institute said.

It does not appear to contain Algae cladophora, a host for the E. coli bacteria

Farther north, near Ludington, a green layer of plant pollen has collected along the shoreline. Although it looks odd there is no danger unless one is especially sensitive to pollen, since there is probably quite a bit that is still airborne.

The hot, humid and sunny weather, and calm wind conditions have all contributed to the collection of the materials at the shoreline.

See the Muskegon Chronicle, "Hot weather brings harmless but ugly 'scum' to Lake Michigan shoreline"
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