Bloomin’ algae

Following a summer with fewer blue-green-algae public warnings at Marion Reservoir than we were used to, the lake may be facing its worst situation in our memory. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engin­eers, closed the lake to public use Friday. Camping was allowed at a few sites, but campers were required to stay at least 100 feet from the shoreline.

Kevin McCoy, assistant lake manager, said the handful of campers who came to the lake cooperated with restrictions and seemed to have more questions than complaints. Fewer algae blooms a year ago may have given us the impression that we’re making progress in reducing the algae-causing nutrients entering our reservoir. This weekend’s closure should tell us we still have a lot more work to do. —DR