By JOHN FLESHER
AP Environmental Writer
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Scientists predict a "significant" harmful algae bloom will form on western Lake Erie this summer.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and research partners are releasing their annual algae forecast Thursday for the shallowest and warmest of the Great Lakes.
It's been plagued by massive summer algae formations that pose health risks for humans and wildlife. A bloom in 2014 contaminated drinking water for 400,000 people in Toledo, Ohio, and southeastern Michigan.
Scientists base a bloom's severity on how much algae it contains over a sustained period.
They predict this year's will register above the level considered potentially harmful. But they think it will be smaller than the largest blooms, which formed in 2011 and 2015.
Some algae blooms generate toxins. Size doesn't necessarily indicate degree of toxicity.