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(Discover)   Farmers are fertilizing Lake Erie to death   (blogs.discovermagazine.com) divider line 51
    More: Followup, Lake Erie, aquatic ecosystem, algal bloom, intensive farming, instant-runoff voting, growing seasons  
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2413 clicks; posted to Business » on 01 Apr 2013 at 6:10 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-01 06:00:51 PM
www.marshall.edu

/Those sick farks
 
2013-04-01 06:17:45 PM
ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2013-04-01 06:23:52 PM
Same thing is happening in Lake Champlain.  Farm runoff sends phosphates by the gigaton into the water supply and into the lake, and massive algae blooms result.  Some summers, you can barely move a kayak paddle in the water for all the floating glop.
 
2013-04-01 06:24:38 PM
Yeah, and? For years they have been watching this happen.
Hey! Look! It's getting worser!
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
 
2013-04-01 06:32:01 PM
Don't forget to thank a farmer!
 
2013-04-01 06:33:37 PM
This is a repeat from the early 1970s.
 
2013-04-01 06:38:27 PM
Throw in some more zebra mussels. Problem solved, once and for all.

I SAID ONCE AND FOR ALL!
 
2013-04-01 06:48:00 PM
Can someone remind me again why a grain we use in nearly everything food related is being subsidized to use for fuel rather than something that is not a fundamental source of food for a good chunk of the world?

Too put it more clearly, why the fark are we using government money to offset the cost of growing corn for fuel?
 
2013-04-01 06:48:18 PM
99% of this phosphate runoff is from farms, so obviously this means ban it for consumers.  GIVE ME MY PHOSPHATES BACK, dishwashers just don't work well without it...
 
2013-04-01 06:51:01 PM
Hmm. I wonder if anyone has tried harvesting the algae and composting it . I know its done on a small scale, but this bloom ( 4 inches thick, 2k square miles ) could have been a boon to someone.
 
2013-04-01 06:54:51 PM

alienated: Hmm. I wonder if anyone has tried harvesting the algae and composting it . I know its done on a small scale, but this bloom ( 4 inches thick, 2k square miles ) could have been a boon to someone.


Is that still cool to do when it's largely the blue-green toxic stuff?
 
2013-04-01 06:56:00 PM

sno man: alienated: Hmm. I wonder if anyone has tried harvesting the algae and composting it . I know its done on a small scale, but this bloom ( 4 inches thick, 2k square miles ) could have been a boon to someone.

Is that still cool to do when it's largely the blue-green toxic stuff?


Not really.
 
2013-04-01 06:56:56 PM

alienated: Hmm. I wonder if anyone has tried harvesting the algae and composting it . I know its done on a small scale, but this bloom ( 4 inches thick, 2k square miles ) could have been a boon to someone.


I wonder if they can use algae to make ethanol. You know, so we can eat the corn after all the fish in the lake die.
 
2013-04-01 06:57:02 PM

alienated: Hmm. I wonder if anyone has tried harvesting the algae and composting it . I know its done on a small scale, but this bloom ( 4 inches thick, 2k square miles ) could have been a boon to someone.


Excellent idea.  It's got to be valuable to someone.
 
2013-04-01 07:02:28 PM

meat0918: sno man: alienated: Hmm. I wonder if anyone has tried harvesting the algae and composting it . I know its done on a small scale, but this bloom ( 4 inches thick, 2k square miles ) could have been a boon to someone.

Is that still cool to do when it's largely the blue-green toxic stuff?

Not really.


Didn't think so.
 
2013-04-01 07:05:08 PM

jayfurr: Same thing is happening in Lake Champlain.  Farm runoff sends phosphates by the gigaton into the water supply and into the lake, and massive algae blooms result.  Some summers, you can barely move a kayak paddle in the water for all the floating glop.


but don't you dare accuse the Farmers!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHqL7dNujNc
 
2013-04-01 07:07:12 PM

meat0918: sno man: alienated: Hmm. I wonder if anyone has tried harvesting the algae and composting it . I know its done on a small scale, but this bloom ( 4 inches thick, 2k square miles ) could have been a boon to someone.

Is that still cool to do when it's largely the blue-green toxic stuff?

Not really.


I think with a hot cook vs cold cook compost pile the bacteria are dead.Thats how it works with regular composting. Problem with hot cook piles is they tend to spontaneously iginite.


Chevello: I wonder if they can use algae to make ethanol. You know, so we can eat the corn after all the fish in the lake die.


I know a couple of companies are doing that, but i forget which algaes they are using.

To the grantmobile !
 
2013-04-01 07:07:37 PM
An atheist could walk across Lake Erie.
 
2013-04-01 07:10:34 PM

meat0918: Can someone remind me again why a grain we use in nearly everything food related is being subsidized to use for fuel rather than something that is not a fundamental source of food for a good chunk of the world?

Too put it more clearly, why the fark are we using government money to offset the cost of growing corn for fuel?


Corn should only be used for fuel. That shiat is not designed for human consumption.
 
2013-04-01 07:11:44 PM

vudukungfu: jayfurr: Same thing is happening in Lake Champlain.  Farm runoff sends phosphates by the gigaton into the water supply and into the lake, and massive algae blooms result.  Some summers, you can barely move a kayak paddle in the water for all the floating glop.

but don't you dare accuse the Farmers!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHqL7dNujNc


We know it's the farmers.

We know it's because of how they farm.

The manure has to go somewhere.  I'd prefer biodigesters, but there is a small problem with hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide that needs to be worked out.

Take chicken farming.  They contract out the job, they own the birds, they own the feed, the farmer owns the shiat.

Now, we could move from ditches to swales and artificial marshes to slow down and filter the runoff before it gets to the rivers, but that costs $$$.
 
2013-04-01 07:17:29 PM

p the boiler: meat0918: Can someone remind me again why a grain we use in nearly everything food related is being subsidized to use for fuel rather than something that is not a fundamental source of food for a good chunk of the world?

Too put it more clearly, why the fark are we using government money to offset the cost of growing corn for fuel?

Corn should only be used for fuel. That shiat is not designed for human consumption.


Actually it was. Generations of Mayans bred a plant that sustained their civilization, and then it fed the Aztecs and many other Native Americans for centuries.
 
2013-04-01 07:21:04 PM

ToastTheRabbit: [ecx.images-amazon.com image 500x375]


Thanks for this.  I came here to post "Isn't this a repeat from the seventies?"
 
2013-04-01 07:22:22 PM

jayfurr: Farm runoff sends phosphates by the gigaton into the water supply and into the lake,


Since we are supposedly about to hit "peak phosphorus", I would think there would be a commercial use for any phosphates that aren't actually absorbed by the crops.
 
2013-04-01 07:29:45 PM

meat0918: Now, we could move from ditches to swales and artificial marshes to slow down and filter the runoff before it gets to the rivers, but that costs $$$.


Watch the outrage if we even suggest that farmers aren't allowed to externalize their waste, even with a dramatic, observable negative effect on the surrounding environment
 
2013-04-01 07:34:49 PM

meat0918: vudukungfu: jayfurr: Same thing is happening in Lake Champlain.  Farm runoff sends phosphates by the gigaton into the water supply and into the lake, and massive algae blooms result.  Some summers, you can barely move a kayak paddle in the water for all the floating glop.

but don't you dare accuse the Farmers!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHqL7dNujNc

We know it's the farmers.

We know it's because of how they farm.

The manure has to go somewhere.  I'd prefer biodigesters, but there is a small problem with hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide that needs to be worked out.

Take chicken farming.  They contract out the job, they own the birds, they own the feed, the farmer owns the shiat.

Now, we could move from ditches to swales and artificial marshes to slow down and filter the runoff before it gets to the rivers, but that costs $$$.


It was largely not manure, but fertilizer for crop fields (although the poor regional sewer systems still play a considerable role).  The problem in 2011 stemmed largely from the rainy spring, fertilizers were washed into streams and rivers before they were able to fix into the soil.  In 2012 it was dry and we didn't have the algal blooms since the fertilizers didn't wash out.  In a sense 2011 was a bit of bad luck, but it also exposed how on the edge we operate and how easy it is to swing back to 1970s conditions.  I know the Ohio Deps of Ag and Nat Resources, and OSU/OARDC are working with farmers/landowners on collection/detention ideas to prevent runoff events like we had in 2011.  Not sure if that means adding back wetlands between ag land and waterways, or building up bigger riparian areas.  At least with the farmers there is an appeal to their pocketbooks when it comes to fixing the problem, since all the money those farmers spent on fertilizer was in the lake rather than in their crops.
 
2013-04-01 07:42:39 PM

revrendjim: p the boiler: meat0918: Can someone remind me again why a grain we use in nearly everything food related is being subsidized to use for fuel rather than something that is not a fundamental source of food for a good chunk of the world?

Too put it more clearly, why the fark are we using government money to offset the cost of growing corn for fuel?

Corn should only be used for fuel. That shiat is not designed for human consumption.

Actually it was. Generations of Mayans bred a plant that sustained their civilization, and then it fed the Aztecs and many other Native Americans for centuries.


You can tell because it fits in your hand and is easily peeled.
 
2013-04-01 07:47:21 PM

Sergeant Grumbles: meat0918: Now, we could move from ditches to swales and artificial marshes to slow down and filter the runoff before it gets to the rivers, but that costs $$$.

Watch the outrage if we even suggest that farmers aren't allowed to externalize their waste, even with a dramatic, observable negative effect on the surrounding environment


I'm of the mind if you're producing or paying to have something produced, the cost of the waste is included in any talk of how much it cost you to produce that item.

So if say, Tyson or Perdue contracts out raising chickens, as they often do, they have to deal with the chicken manure rather than leaving it for the farmer to deal with.  Of course, as soon as they can make serious money off of it, the big corps will be on it like flies on shiat.

CSB on fertilizer: My dad lives 1/2 mile downwind from a new dairy operation.  It's about 5 years old now.  He's living in the old family home his grandfather built and his father expanded, and that he himself grew up in and has also added onto and kept up after he inherited it.

The dairy is 3000 head, planned to at least double in size soon.  Each spring, as it thaws, they have manure tankers down the road ever 5-15 minutes, from sun up to sun down.  Last year the dairy ran 3/4 of a mile worth of heavy duty hose down the road and pumped the sewage into one of those big field sprinklers and fertilized the field that way.  My dad said it was horrendous, and he's lived on a farm most of his life, and raised pigs, cows, chickens, grown crops, etc.

He won't call Michigan's DEQ though, because they won't do anything.  They already tried when the dairy's water usage dropped the aquifer down so that wells that previously were fine started sucking sand and had to be redrilled an extra 50 plus feet (as well as replacing damaged water pumps, filters, and water heaters).

//He'll call when another farmer's fark ups damage his crops directly though...
 
2013-04-01 07:50:03 PM

constructor5179: meat0918: vudukungfu: jayfurr: Same thing is happening in Lake Champlain.  Farm runoff sends phosphates by the gigaton into the water supply and into the lake, and massive algae blooms result.  Some summers, you can barely move a kayak paddle in the water for all the floating glop.

but don't you dare accuse the Farmers!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHqL7dNujNc

We know it's the farmers.

We know it's because of how they farm.

The manure has to go somewhere.  I'd prefer biodigesters, but there is a small problem with hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide that needs to be worked out.

Take chicken farming.  They contract out the job, they own the birds, they own the feed, the farmer owns the shiat.

Now, we could move from ditches to swales and artificial marshes to slow down and filter the runoff before it gets to the rivers, but that costs $$$.

It was largely not manure, but fertilizer for crop fields (although the poor regional sewer systems still play a considerable role).  The problem in 2011 stemmed largely from the rainy spring, fertilizers were washed into streams and rivers before they were able to fix into the soil.  In 2012 it was dry and we didn't have the algal blooms since the fertilizers didn't wash out.  In a sense 2011 was a bit of bad luck, but it also exposed how on the edge we operate and how easy it is to swing back to 1970s conditions.  I know the Ohio Deps of Ag and Nat Resources, and OSU/OARDC are working with farmers/landowners on collection/detention ideas to prevent runoff events like we had in 2011.  Not sure if that means adding back wetlands between ag land and waterways, or building up bigger riparian areas.  At least with the farmers there is an appeal to their pocketbooks when it comes to fixing the problem, since all the money those farmers spent on fertilizer was in the lake rather than in their crops.


Some of the fertilizer is manure, not just Haber Process ammonium nitrate.
 
2013-04-01 08:03:06 PM
Lake Erie is the septic tank of the great lakes, so please ignore all that industrial waste and only blame the farmers who grow your food.

/Stupid people eat the fish they catch out of them lakes.
 
2013-04-01 08:03:59 PM

pciszek: jayfurr: Farm runoff sends phosphates by the gigaton into the water supply and into the lake,

Since we are supposedly about to hit "peak phosphorus", I would think there would be a commercial use for any phosphates that aren't actually absorbed by the crops.


blogs.babble.com
 
2013-04-01 08:16:03 PM
HempHead:
[blogs.babble.com image 413x333]

That was done with ammonium nitrate.  Nitrogen is literally as common as air, provided energy is cheap.
 
2013-04-01 08:23:38 PM

sheep snorter: Lake Erie is the septic tank of the great lakes, so please ignore all that industrial waste and only blame the farmers who grow your food.


Algae blooms occur when fertilizer is introduced into a body of water.  If "industrial waste" is causing the algae blooms, then that "industrial waste" ought to be sold as fertilizer.

I concede that it might be possible that the wastewater from certain types of food industry operations might cause an algae bloom, in which case I stand by my statement--we should be using that waste as fertilizer.
 
2013-04-01 08:44:33 PM
The farmers have been doing this to the Gulf of Mexico for decades now, so it's not exactly a new phenomenon.

The problem is quite simple. The EPA and environmental laws are generally designed to deal with industrial pollution that comes from a defined "spot" (a waste pipe or similar), called point-source pollution. Agricultural pollution and urban runoff are largely unregulated. Change the laws so farmers have to pay if pollution comes from their land, or require farmers to protect buffers between fields and streams and other wetlands on their land, and it could be greatly reduced just as indulstrial pollution was greatly reduced.

Either that or we can keep pretending the EPA is "going too far" and our environmental laws are "too strict".
 
2013-04-01 08:54:22 PM

pciszek: HempHead:
[blogs.babble.com image 413x333]

That was done with ammonium nitrate.  Nitrogen is literally as common as air, provided energy is cheap.



If plants could fix nitrogen from the air, they'd be able to become mobile.

Then we'd all be screwed.
 
2013-04-01 09:05:21 PM
Erie's only 200ft deep at the bottom, put algae on top and there isn't much room left. Not a huge surprise here.
 
2013-04-01 09:27:26 PM

adamatari: The farmers have been doing this to the Gulf of Mexico for decades now, so it's not exactly a new phenomenon.

The problem is quite simple. The EPA and environmental laws are generally designed to deal with industrial pollution that comes from a defined "spot" (a waste pipe or similar), called point-source pollution. Agricultural pollution and urban runoff are largely unregulated. Change the laws so farmers have to pay if pollution comes from their land, or require farmers to protect buffers between fields and streams and other wetlands on their land, and it could be greatly reduced just as indulstrial pollution was greatly reduced.

Either that or we can keep pretending the EPA is "going too far" and our environmental laws are "too strict".



Let's see how far that gets at the Iowa caucuses. Preliminary polling indicates both Norman Rockwell Bullshiat About The Noble Farmer Out On The South Forty and The Agri-Industrial Complex are defeating sound science by a 3-to-1 margin among each party's base.
 
2013-04-02 12:20:25 AM

sheep snorter: Lake Erie is the septic tank of the great lakes, so please ignore all that industrial waste and only blame the farmers who grow your food.

/Stupid people eat the fish they catch out of them lakes.


Actually. It was the cleanest of all the Great Lakes before this.  You need to realize the 70's were a long time ago.

Lake Erie is the shallowest of the lakes, by far, and the 2nd smallest in surface area.  The water flows out of Lake Erie very quickly because of Niagara Falls.

Once the Clean Water Act and the Great Lakes Protection acts were in full effect it prevented people from dumping shiat in there.  Lake Erie can cycle through all of its water in 10 years whereas other lakes take 100's.

All the dirty water in there was gone by the 80's, but the reputation will never die.

/I was a park ranger on that Lake and we had to know all about it.
 
2013-04-02 12:47:08 AM

adamatari: The farmers have been doing this to the Gulf of Mexico for decades now, so it's not exactly a new phenomenon.

The problem is quite simple. The EPA and environmental laws are generally designed to deal with industrial pollution that comes from a defined "spot" (a waste pipe or similar), called point-source pollution. Agricultural pollution and urban runoff are largely unregulated. Change the laws so farmers have to pay if pollution comes from their land, or require farmers to protect buffers between fields and streams and other wetlands on their land, and it could be greatly reduced just as indulstrial pollution was greatly reduced.

Either that or we can keep pretending the EPA is "going too far" and our environmental laws are "too strict".


The Maumee River, the one that runs through Toledo, is the main part of the biggest watershed in the great lakes. It takes up a large part of western Ohio, parts of southern Michigan, and a good chunk of northeast Indian, and is probably the biggest source of this pollution. The problem with those buffers between farm and stream is that Toledo also used to be on the edge of the great black swamp, a swamp that doesn't really exist anymore except in a couple parks, and disappeared because of all the drainage we've put in. Bringing back those buffers means bringing back the giant swamp. No one will miss Toledo's eastern suburbs but the farmers aren't likely to willingly destroy their fields.
 
2013-04-02 02:37:16 AM
Progress!!?!
 
2013-04-02 08:35:16 AM
Coming soon... Pelee Island Winery Extra Chunky Algae Merlot.

(kidding... Their ice wine is amazing)
 
2013-04-02 09:25:25 AM
The US government run by YOUR President has MANDATED the use of ethanol as an oxygenate to gasoline, to help reduce air pollution. The previous oxygenate was found to be a carcinogen. So, do you want clean air and cancer, or clean air and slightly higher food prices?

By the way we have never ran out of corn. There is usually a 10-15% carry over, every year.
 
2013-04-02 09:28:26 AM
I'm sure those Asian carp will gobble-up the extra algae. No biggie.
 
2013-04-02 09:45:58 AM
Stupid socialists. We all know the free market will fix this. If consumers do not want their lakes to be polluted wastelands they will stop buying from farmers who do this.

Why is that so hard to understand?
 
2013-04-02 09:48:37 AM

revrendjim: p the boiler: meat0918: Can someone remind me again why a grain we use in nearly everything food related is being subsidized to use for fuel rather than something that is not a fundamental source of food for a good chunk of the world?

Too put it more clearly, why the fark are we using government money to offset the cost of growing corn for fuel?

Corn should only be used for fuel. That shiat is not designed for human consumption.

Actually it was. Generations of Mayans bred a plant that sustained their civilization, and then it fed the Aztecs and many other Native Americans for centuries.


Corn is not a complete food source compared to rice or other grains.

I love me some corn but it is shiat for a staple crop.
 
2013-04-02 11:45:21 AM

nocturnal001: revrendjim: p the boiler: meat0918: Can someone remind me again why a grain we use in nearly everything food related is being subsidized to use for fuel rather than something that is not a fundamental source of food for a good chunk of the world?

Too put it more clearly, why the fark are we using government money to offset the cost of growing corn for fuel?

Corn should only be used for fuel. That shiat is not designed for human consumption.

Actually it was. Generations of Mayans bred a plant that sustained their civilization, and then it fed the Aztecs and many other Native Americans for centuries.

Corn is not a complete food source compared to rice or other grains.

I love me some corn but it is shiat for a staple crop.


I assume that's why some traditional prep involved soaking it in limewater.

//It's good stuff, if a bit labor intensive for a home gardener.
 
2013-04-02 11:57:54 AM

meat0918: nocturnal001: revrendjim: p the boiler: meat0918: Can someone remind me again why a grain we use in nearly everything food related is being subsidized to use for fuel rather than something that is not a fundamental source of food for a good chunk of the world?

Too put it more clearly, why the fark are we using government money to offset the cost of growing corn for fuel?

Corn should only be used for fuel. That shiat is not designed for human consumption.

Actually it was. Generations of Mayans bred a plant that sustained their civilization, and then it fed the Aztecs and many other Native Americans for centuries.

Corn is not a complete food source compared to rice or other grains.

I love me some corn but it is shiat for a staple crop.

I assume that's why some traditional prep involved soaking it in limewater.

//It's good stuff, if a bit labor intensive for a home gardener.


Not sure, maybe to break down the husk/shells on the Kernel?  Ah, google to the rescue.  I couldn't remember the exact cause of Pellagra but the limewater prevents this disease.

The traditional food preparation method of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maize">maize ("corn"), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixtamalization">nixtamalization, by native http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World">New World cultivators who had domesticated corn required treatment of the grain with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_hydroxide">lime, an http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkali">alkali. The lime treatment now has been shown to make niacin nutritionally available and reduce the chance of developing pellagra.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pellagra#cite_note-4">[4] When maize cultivation was adopted worldwide, this preparation method was not accepted because the benefit was not understood. The original cultivators, often heavily dependent on maize, did not suffer from pellagra; it became common only when maize became a staple that was eaten without the traditional treatment.
 
2013-04-02 06:33:25 PM

picturescrazy: adamatari: The farmers have been doing this to the Gulf of Mexico for decades now, so it's not exactly a new phenomenon.

The problem is quite simple. The EPA and environmental laws are generally designed to deal with industrial pollution that comes from a defined "spot" (a waste pipe or similar), called point-source pollution. Agricultural pollution and urban runoff are largely unregulated. Change the laws so farmers have to pay if pollution comes from their land, or require farmers to protect buffers between fields and streams and other wetlands on their land, and it could be greatly reduced just as indulstrial pollution was greatly reduced.

Either that or we can keep pretending the EPA is "going too far" and our environmental laws are "too strict".

The Maumee River, the one that runs through Toledo, is the main part of the biggest watershed in the great lakes.


Try again. My watershed's half again the size of yours, Bucknuts.
 
2013-04-02 10:35:08 PM

LibertyHiller: picturescrazy: adamatari: The farmers have been doing this to the Gulf of Mexico for decades now, so it's not exactly a new phenomenon.

The problem is quite simple. The EPA and environmental laws are generally designed to deal with industrial pollution that comes from a defined "spot" (a waste pipe or similar), called point-source pollution. Agricultural pollution and urban runoff are largely unregulated. Change the laws so farmers have to pay if pollution comes from their land, or require farmers to protect buffers between fields and streams and other wetlands on their land, and it could be greatly reduced just as indulstrial pollution was greatly reduced.

Either that or we can keep pretending the EPA is "going too far" and our environmental laws are "too strict".

The Maumee River, the one that runs through Toledo, is the main part of the biggest watershed in the great lakes.

Try again. My watershed's half again the size of yours, Bucknuts.


Ah wiki fail. Assuming Wikipedia is correct about the various watershed sizes, yours is bigger but only by a little. You read the top of the Maumee's page but not further down in the watershed section where it includes its source rivers. It also directly states that the Maumee has the largest watershed of any great lakes.

So, turns out it's just a good example of why Wikipedia isn't the best citation. It's giving us conflicting information.
 
2013-04-03 05:30:00 AM
The obvious solution is to allow corporations to poison the algae by dumping toxic waste into the lake.

/problem solved
 
2013-04-03 04:34:55 PM

picturescrazy: LibertyHiller: picturescrazy: adamatari: The farmers have been doing this to the Gulf of Mexico for decades now, so it's not exactly a new phenomenon.

The problem is quite simple. The EPA and environmental laws are generally designed to deal with industrial pollution that comes from a defined "spot" (a waste pipe or similar), called point-source pollution. Agricultural pollution and urban runoff are largely unregulated. Change the laws so farmers have to pay if pollution comes from their land, or require farmers to protect buffers between fields and streams and other wetlands on their land, and it could be greatly reduced just as indulstrial pollution was greatly reduced.

Either that or we can keep pretending the EPA is "going too far" and our environmental laws are "too strict".

The Maumee River, the one that runs through Toledo, is the main part of the biggest watershed in the great lakes.

Try again. My watershed's half again the size of yours, Bucknuts.

Ah wiki fail. Assuming Wikipedia is correct about the various watershed sizes, yours is bigger but only by a little. You read the top of the Maumee's page but not further down in the watershed section where it includes its source rivers. It also directly states that the Maumee has the largest watershed of any great lakes.


The source for that is a dead link, so nothing proved there. Assuming the larger number for the Maumee basin/watershed is correct, it's still not going to be greater in size than the Saginaw basin, unless you find another 280 square miles somewhere.

So, turns out it's just a good example of why Wikipedia isn't the best citation. It's giving us conflicting information.

Then maybe you ought to donate a little time to correct it when you find incorrect data. I do.
 
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