Years Will Be Needed to Gauge Efforts to Cut Lake Erie Algae

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PERRYSBURG, Ohio (AP) – Ohio is beginning to offer $12 million in incentives for farmers who are taking steps to reduce the pollutants that wash off their fields and feed the toxic algae in western Lake Erie.

That’s on top of new rules banning farmers in northwestern Ohio from spreading manure on rain-soaked fields and requiring training before farmers can use commercial fertilizers.

Now the big question is will it all work.

State officials say one of the next big steps is to closely monitor the streams and rivers that flow into the lake. But it will be a few years before the state can figure out just how much progress is being made.

The goal is to cut the amount of phosphorus flowing into western Lake Erie by 40 percent within 10 years.