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Lake Superior's Algae Problem

UW-Milwaukee researcher Todd Miller (right) and technician Jeff Nuese
UW-Milwaukee researcher Todd Miller (right) and technician Jeff Nuese deployed sensor-stocked buoy in Lake Superior as part of a massive effort to gather blue green algae data this summer.

Scientists have seen it in Lake Erie and the bay of Green Bay. But the last place they expected to find plumes of toxic algae is in Lake Superior.

That's because Superior is cold, deep, and mostly surrounded by forest, not agriculture. Runoff from agriculture fuels toxic algae.

But sporadic blooms have appeared in Lake Superior, mostly along its southern shore. This summer, scientists are trying to figure out why, and whether science can help control what so far has only been an occasional nuisance before it becomes a bigger problem.

Susan Bence entered broadcasting in an untraditional way. After years of avid public radio listening, Susan returned to school and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She interned for WUWM News and worked with the Lake Effect team, before being hired full-time as a WUWM News reporter / producer.
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