Algae

Elizabeth Alexson/MN Sea Grant

The toxic blue-green algae blooms on Lake of the Woods are a human-created problem.

And that it's going to take another few decades for the lake to flush itself of the toxins and nutrients that are causing the blooms.

How do we know this, you ask?

So glad you asked!

Gabrielle R.

The good news is the cyclotella algae turning up in sediment samples from the Great Lakes aren't a problem - like blue-green algae is, for example.

The bad news is that they're indicating a problem: in the food web and with climate change.

Here's the thing about blue-green algae:  it's really a cyanobacteria.  You can't identify it by sight or smell, but it could make you sick.  Unless you're a dog, in which case, it could kill you.