- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Agricultural and environmental leaders in Michigan have issued a joint appeal for concerted action to block the toxic algae blooms that shut down drinking water systems in western Lake Erie last summer and that are threatening to return this year.

Michigan Agri-Business Association President Jim Byrum and Michigan League of Conservation Voters Deputy Director Jack Schmitt announced the initiative Tuesday in Lansing.

Byrum says the blooms forecast for the lake this summer “are a serious problem with a host of causes, including extreme weather, climate change, combined sewage overflow, malfunctioning septic systems and agriculture.”

He and Schmitt are calling for research, new approaches and cooperation among those who often disagree on policy issues.

Officials in Toledo, Ohio, say they’ve detected toxins in the city’s water intake systems.

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