The animated video by Environmental Defence turns Lake Erie algal blooms into a sinister slime monster.

Toronto, ON – A new animated video by Environmental Defence is drawing attention to the problem of algal blooms on Lake Erie by turning the bloom into a comic book villain: a slime monster.

“This summer, the biggest, meanest slime monster isn’t in a blockbuster movie. It’s on Lake Erie,” said Keith Brooks, Campaigns Director with Environmental Defence. “Lake Erie provides drinking water and jobs for thousands of people. We need to act now to stop it from getting slimed over by large mats of algae every year.”

With the look and feel of a super hero comic book, the video flips through the story of how the “slime monster” returned to and is wreaking havoc on Lake Erie. The video highlights what causes the blooms and the impacts they are having on the lake, including forcing beach closures, killing fish, and affecting drinking water.

Every summer, Lake Erie is covered by larger, more harmful algal blooms. This month marks two years since algal blooms left 500,000 Toledo, Ohio residents without access to safe tap water for days. That same month, blooms forced beach closures on Pelee Island and left the majority of island residents–who rely on private wells—also without safe water.

While experts have predicted that this year’s blooms in western Lake Erie won’t be as bad as previous years’, they are still a serious issue.

“For people who have seen the impacts on Lake Erie, they know that algal blooms are no joke,” said Brooks. “However, by using humour in our video, we hope to raise awareness about this problem plaguing one of our Great Lakes, and reach more people and encourage them to get involved.”

The leading cause of the blooms is run-off from farms containing high levels of phosphorus. Other algae-causing pollution sources include municipal wastewater and stormwater discharges, run-off from streets and lawns that contain pet waste and lawn fertilizer, and poorly maintained septic systems.

As a solution to help reduce nutrient pollution, Environmental Defence is currently calling on the Ontario government to put in place a deposit return program for plastic bottles in the province. The program would help reduce plastic pollution, and would also generate sustainable funding to help farmers decrease nutrient loss and keep phosphorous on fields.

Watch Environmental Defence’s Lake Erie’s Biggest, Meanest, Slimiest Monster video here.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

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For more information or media requests, please contact:
Jen Mayville, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 228; 905-330-0172 (cell); jmayville@environmentaldefence.ca.