Launched July 20 by Heidelberg University's National Center for Water Quality Research, lakeeriealgae.com explains the role phosphorus has in causing algal blooms.
But it does much more than that: It provides a history of the problem through videos and text, including archived material about the Cuyahoga River fire of 1969 - a watershed moment, if you will, for Lake Erie.
Algae near the Toledo intake crib during the height of the 2014 water crisis. Associated Press photo.
The website was generated by scientists at a lab that's been tracking phosphorus longer than any other in the Great Lakes region.
Heidelberg's National Center for Water Quality Research has been doing the field work - the scientific detective work - the past 46 years. That's the longest, continuous string of water-quality sampling of area rivers and streams, believe it or not, and it hasn't been the easiest ride.
Many times over the years I found out from Heidelberg scientists and managers such as Ken Krieger, Pete Richards and the lab's founder, David Baker, what a challenge it was cobbling together grants to keep the sampling going.
Folks, it just shouldn't be that way. Good, bad, or ugly, we need scientific data.
That takes money - as well as long-term commitments from state and federal officials.
Heidelberg's Laura Johnson speaking at Ohio State University's Stone Laboratory in 2014. BLADE PHOTO/TOM HENRY
Laura Johnson, who's in her second year as the lab's research scientist, has a nifty feature called A Tale of Two Rivers which shows how rainfall causes different reactions in the Maumee and Cuyahoga river watersheds because the former is mostly agriculture and the latter is mostly urban.
Bottom line: Water quality is directly tied to land use.
So take lakeeriealgae.com and other websites for a spin. This one in particular caught my attention because of its multi-medium platform - and because I'm a sucker for stuff that connects dots to history.