Michigan universities awarded grants to study harmful algae


LANSING, Mich. – Two Michigan universities have been awarded state funding in order to develop technology that would help identify and track harmful algae blooms in the Great Lakes.

The universities were Oakland University in Rochester, and Grand Valley State University in Allendale.  The funds come from the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Oakland University was awarded $158, 314 for the production of harmful algae hazard map that can be continually updated.  Researchers also will explore development of a smartphone app that citizen volunteers could use to detect the blooms.

Grand Valley State University was given $83,573 to find methods for rapidly determining whether certain types of algae are producing toxins at the cellular level. The project is meant to help create early-warning systems and provide information on ecological factors that cause blooms to form.

Harmful algae blooms consist of bacteria that are fed by nutrients that flow into waterways from farms, wastewater treatment plants and other sources.

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