Where are these stories in the summer, when everyone is paying attention?! Oh well.
There's a Kansas study that for the first time tries to quantify how much damage beach muck (dead algae) does to property values. In Michigan, beaches have been fouled by muck for years and state regulators haven't done much more than talk about it. The study says the muck is causing $4 billion in economic losses a year in the U.S. (That's enough to bail out the auto companies for almost a week!)
The info, published in Environmental Science & Technology, says lakefront property values drop by 15 percent every time water clarity is reduced by one meter (a little more than a yard).
But a news story on the report dances around the issue a bit, using "algal blooms" to describe the disgusting, pea soup, human fecal gunk that continues to mar Michigan beaches. Call it what it is: Money-sucking muck.
This news is just another reason for Michigan and other Great Lake states to get on the ball and do something. Limit phosphorus and other nutrients from lawns and farms and wastewater plants. Mandate controls on ocean-going vessels that bring in new invasive species.
Remember, it's the invasives that have cleared the water and helped fuel this mess. I mean, "contributed to the proliferation of algal blooms." Kind of like what grunge did to Hair Metal.