Lakeside community fed up with algal blooms raised $3.5 million for a pool in five months

Posted at 6:51 AM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 06:53:12-04

Toxic water in Lake Erie is forcing one community here in Ohio find an alternative.

Sitting right on the shores of Lake Erie, about 75 miles from Cleveland, the Lakeside Chautauqua community has been dealing with the menacing algal blooms on Lake Erie for decades, and now they've decided to take matters into their own hands.
The people there raised millions of dollars just for a safe swimming environment.
"So we've had years where we haven't been able to go swim in the lake and it's kind of like you get down there and you're like, ugh," said Mary Beth Ernst. Her family has made a tradition of vacationing at the beach in Lakeside for the past 19 years.
She remembers the lake being closed off for the entire week of their stay once, because of the algae bloom build up.
And that's the big problem.
Back in 2015, that area of the lake experienced a record-breaking algal bloom, causing city officials to close the beach and swimming areas 16 times in one summer.
That's when residents came together, raising money for a community pool—safe of any harmful toxins.
"The community expressed their concerns, and they expressed their desire to have the school, and as a result less than five short months we raised over $3.5 million to build what you see here today," said Kevin Sibbring, President and CEO of the Lakeside Chautauqua community.
Lakeside, brings in an average of 150,000 visitors every summer. The lake is still an option, but now with the pool opening this week, vacationers can still make a big splash, even when the lake is in bad condition.