The shape of things to come?

In case your subscription to Algae World News expired, or you failed to see the story in the Record Eagle, you might not know about the massive fresh water algal bloom which is troubling our friends,  the riparians on Torch Lake.  The algae bloom first became apparent in the summer of 2014, and only got worse this year, prompting a study to determine the cause of the problem.

Becky Norris is the water quality chairwoman of Three Lakes Association. “Torch Lake is by no means the only place that’s affected,” Norris said. “We’ve got a recent aerial survey showing this same stuff, granted what looks like the same stuff, really very much all over the area.”

‘”Some people point to zebra mussels, increased development and leaky septic systems as possible causes. ..Algae growth depends on light, temperature and nutrients,” said R. Jan Stevenson, co-director of Michigan State University’s Center for Water Science. One of those factors likely changed in recent years and caused the new growth. He believes increased nutrients — probably nitrogen and phosphorus — are the most likely culprits, and those nutrients probably came from groundwater.’

No mention was given (in the Record Eagle article) to the hundreds of party boats, and thousands of people which convened on the sandbars of Torch Lake this summer on a regular basis, but were especially heavy on the July 4th weekend.  This lake health problem should be on everyone’s mind as we at LLLA continue to monitor water quality, make recommendations, and press for action on our own lake.  Stay informed, and please know that we are doing our best to keep this lake the way we all love it: clean and beautiful for generations to come.  And that’s why we appreciate the ongoing help and commitment we get from all our wonderful LLLA members.

Mark Smith

Grew up in Petoskey, so perhaps one of the few people in Leland who headed south to end up “Up North”. Graduated from U of M. Taught in Scotland for 10 years, came back to Leland in 1989 and taught English for 25 years at Leland Public School. Still teach part time for NMC. My lovely wife is named Marjory – three grown kids (two living locally) and three grandkids. We live on N. Lake Leelanau with access to both lakes Michigan and Leelanau Life is good!