Algal blooms in Lake Erie, with the water intake crib for Toledo in the background in 2015. (Marvin Fong, The Plain Dealer)

This year’s harmful algal bloom could be slightly smaller than 2017, according to the forecast released Thursday by Ohio Sea Grant.

Heavy spring rains washed a huge load of phosphorus — the main ingredient for the toxic blue-green algae — into the Maumee River. That’s despite the fact that many farmers couldn’t plant fields this year because of all the rain.

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