Shared from the 7/5/2019 Sandusky Register eEdition

U.S. EPA

Track algal blooms on app

SANDUSKY

You can track Lake Erie’s harmful algal bloom on your Android smartphone, thanks to a new app.

The U.S. EPA announced this week it released the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) app. The free app is available by searching for “EPA CyAN” at the Google Play store. Cyanobacteria are the particular kind of algae that produces harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.

A reporter’s test of the app showed it’s easy to zero in on the Sandusky area of Lake Erie by expanding the map with your fingers. On Wednesday, the app’s map showed the beginnings of a harmful algal bloom in Sandusky Bay and along the Lake Erie shore.

This seemed to match reports from Bowling Green State University algal bloom expert George Bullerjahn that an algal bloom has developed in Sandusky Bay, and reports in the Harmful Algal Bloom email bulletin issued by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

On Wednesday, the bulletin said, “Satellite imagery from 6/28 shows cyanobacteria is present in Lake Erie’s western basin, touching the shoreline of Maumee State Park and extending 6 miles offshore from Maumee Bay.”

The Register asked the EPA if an app is planned for Apple iPhone owners.

“There are no plans to make the CyAN App available on iOS, at this time. However, EPA is working on a web application that will be usable through any web browser,” said Maggie Sauerhage of EPA’s Office of Public Affairs.

The EPA said the new app uses satellite data to show harmful algal blooms in more than 2,000 of the largest lakes and reservoirs in the U.S.

EPA officials said they worked with other federal agencies such as NASA and NOAA to develop the app.

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