- Associated Press - Saturday, May 21, 2016

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - State officials are offering $250,000 in grants to help develop technology for battling harmful algae blooms.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says the funding is part of an initiative to better understand the blooms and to prevent them from forming in the western Lake Erie basin and elsewhere.

Harmful algae blooms are distinct from other algae because they produce a type of toxin that disrupts the aquatic ecosystem and can pollute drinking water. In 2014, harmful algae contaminated drinking water supplies in Toledo, Ohio, and part of southeastern Michigan.

Much is known about how the harmful blooms develop, but officials say their production of toxins is not well understood.

Projects designed to shed more light on that process will get priority as the grants are allocated.

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