Ghostbusters may be back on the big screen, but this summer, the biggest, meanest, slimiest monster can be found on Lake Erie.

Today, we released a new animated video to help draw attention to the problem of algal blooms on Lake Erie by turning the bloom into a type of comic book villain: a slime monster.

With the look and feel of a super hero comic book, the video flips through the story of how the “slime monster” has returned 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.

Watch the video below.

Even though this video uses humour, algal blooms are no joke for people who live, work, and play along Lake Erie. Thousands of people on both sides of the border rely on the lake for jobs and drinking water. And each summer it is getting covered by larger, and sometimes toxic, 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 also forced beach closures on Pelee Island and left the majority of island residents—who rely on private wells—without safe water for days. And 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 major issue.

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.

There are a few ways you can help:

  • Watch and share our video above with your friends and family.
  • Sign our petition asking the federal and provincial governments to take action to stop algal blooms in Lake Erie.
  • Read our Clean Not Green report to learn more about how algal blooms are affecting the lake.

Let’s work together to fight the slime monster, and keep Lake Erie clean, not green.