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E-M:/ Study: Algae blooms do billions in damage

Nutrient pollution that causes noxious algae blooms to blanket lakes is more than an environmental nightmare -- the problem also reduces lakefront property values and causes billions of dollars in other economic losses, according to a new study.

This is the first time scientists have put a price tag on the damage caused nationally by nutrient pollution in surface waters and the resulting algae blooms. The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, is significant locally because algae blooms have plagued several West Michigan lakes in recent years, including Muskegon Lake, Mona Lake, Bear Lake and Spring Lake.