Cleveland Water Alliance receives Federal Grant to Better Monitor Harmful Algae Blooms in Lake Erie

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Cleveland Water Alliance receives Federal Grant to Better Monitor Harmful Algae Blooms in Lake EriePartners with Great Lakes Observing System to improve HABs warning systemCleveland, Ohio (Oct. 11, 2017) - The Cleveland Water Alliance (CWA), in partnership with the Great Lakes Observing System and a Michigan-based tech company, will use a three-year, $2.1 million grant to transition Lake Erie’s early warning systems for harmful algae blooms to sustainable, operational form.Harmful algal blooms in general, and cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms in freshwater, are a global public health and environmental concern and can make water unsafe to drink. In 2014, toxins from HABs in Lake Erie made the water in Toledo undrinkable.The grant comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is part of the Ocean Technology Transition project, whose aim is to speed theoretical technology into operation.The project will operationalize an online web portal for water quality data and augment existing instruments in the lake with new ones that can detect toxins before they reach treatment plants. CWA’s role is to serve as the industry and private sector agent to assist with the commercialization of the system into the market.LimnoTech, an environmental engineering and science firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich., will partner with CWA.“This is a great opportunity to drive innovation, create jobs and improve the care of one of our nation’s greatest natural assets: Lake Erie,’’ Stubbs said.The non-profit Cleveland Water Alliance manages multiple programs that are creating a 'smart lake' by working on advanced networking, sensors, and analytics for the Lake Erie basin, and in particular driving private/public partnerships to address nutrient management and Harmful Algal Bloom monitoring and mitigation.In May, CWA, in conjunction with numerous partners from throughout the Lake Erie basin, including NASA Glenn Research Center and the Great Lakes Observing System, presented $100K in cash and prizes to four winning teams at the first U.S. Erie Hack Competition and Water Innovation Summit in downtown Cleveland.The $40,000 cash grand-prize winner of the Erie Hack, a tech-driven international water innovation competition and accelerator program, was Micro Buoy, a team out of Wayne State University in Detroit. It created a nano-sensor contained in a buoy that can detect environmental contaminants in the water.CWA is building from the momentum of that successful event with its new $50k internet of H2O innovation challenge on Oct. 27 and 28 in Sandusky, Ohio, that is pushing for next-generation networking, sensing and analytics at part of a pilot project in the Sandusky Bay in partnership with DigitalC and US Ignite.For more information about CWA, go to the Cleveland Water Alliance: Established in 2014, CWA is a non-profit organization that seeks to better utilize the economic and job-creating potential of Lake Erie while also urging greater care of this valuable, natural asset. We are among the region’s leaders working to bring together Northeast Ohio’s water providers, business and political leaders, researchers and environmental organizations to establish Cleveland as a nationally recognized center for water innovation.