Bay Village's dirty little secrets
I grew up making memories at Huntington Beach. The beach is home, and I feel a great sense of pride over it. I’ve traveled the world, yet I always come back to Bay Village as my favorite spot. Given my childhood, it is no surprise that I now spend my adult life working with the media to expose environmental issues that harm our water, air, wildlife and land.
Unfortunately, my sense of pride in Lake Erie is starting to be overcome with worry as I read about the algae bloom advisories. Not only are my favorite areas getting destroyed, but my family’s drinking water is at risk too. We do not need a scare like the one Toledo had.
Worse yet, the Bay Village community, at least the online one, has no forum to discuss the policy problems and solutions. A previous article in the Observer about the amazing work that Sea Scouts are doing to combat the problem stated that residents of Bay Village are not individually contributing to the hazardous algae bloom. That is, in part, true. However, as individuals we do have an ability to make a difference collectively.
Researchers at Heidelberg University who are leading the way on this topic state, “Decades of monitoring have led to an inescapable conclusion: phosphorus runoff, primarily from agricultural lands, is feeding explosive cyanobacterial growth in the warm, shallow waters of the western basin.”
In a regional online community, I shared this research from Heidelberg as well as offered commentary on how national policies by both the Trump and Obama administrations affected the problem – including the proposed funding cuts to the Great Lakes programs, climate change policies that are making the lakes warmer, corruption at the EPA, and relaxed business and agricultural regulations that are contributing to the runoff. When we go to the voting booth, we vote for the lake or against it.
The moderator of a local Facebook group informed me that we are not to talk about the national political climate even if it relates to our local drinking water. This is a shame. All politics is local, and it seems we need a forum to discuss how national policies hurt us locally. I’m not pro-Democrat or pro-Republican or even an expert on the topics. I am, however, pro-Lake Erie – the treasured beach I grew up on. I will and have held accountable any politician who wants to put it at risk.
Putting our head in the sand is not going to save our beaches. It will ruin them. Like the recently resigned EPA head has a secret calendar, Bay Village has a secret group and certain subjects regarding the safety of the lake are off limits. As a solution, we will join our own online community for activism where we intend to bring together politicians, scientists, environmentalists and activists. If you want to join us, visit “Bay Village Needs No Secrets” on Facebook.