Regarding the Feb. 10 news article “ SolarBees go rogue on Jordan Lake”: The “rogue” SolarBees raise some questions:
• Will strong thunderstorms and hurricane-force winds cause SolarBees to wander rogue again?
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• What is the “diameter of effectiveness” of a single Solarbee? Stated another way, how dense must the SolarBees be in Jordan Lake? How many SolarBees are needed for the entire lake?
• Based on the scientific literature, SolarBees have sometimes reduced the cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) levels in waterbodies, but they tend to have virtually no effect on chlorophyll levels (which is the water quality standard). SolarBees also have little effect on nutrient levels.
Taken together, these statements imply that as soon as the Solarbee “experiment” is completed and the SolarBees are removed, it is highly likely that algal blooms will return, given that nutrient levels have not been reduced. If these results occur, does DENR plan to place SolarBees in Jordan Lake forever, or will it acknowledge that watershed nutrient load controls, and not SolarBees, are the only effective long-term solution for eutrophication in Jordan Lake?
Kenneth Reckhow, Durham