Harmful algal blooms

Program or Topic Area Leader

Gary Kohlhepp


The DEQ is monitoring waterbodies with suspected HABs, primarily Lake Erie beaches, Saginaw Bay, and selected inland lakes, and is coordinating the documentation and tracking of HABs across the state. The DEQ notifies the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which in turn alerts local health departments (LHDs,) when monitoring indicates a potential threat to public health or animals may exist.

Program Expertise

  • Biological — Algal
  • Biological — Aquatic Invertebrate
  • Chemical — Water Quality (nutrients, pH, DO, etc.)
  • Physical — Water Quality

Primary Stakeholder Audience

  • Private land/home owners
  • Decision making community (Government at all levels)

Program Focus

1. Targeted and complaint response monitoring for suspected HABs
2. Working with DHHS to analyze samples for algal toxins
3. Alerting DHHS (which in turn works with LHDs), riparian property owners, and the broader public when elevated levels of algal toxins are found
4. Providing HABs-related information to all interested stakeholders

Associated Personnel