10 years of fighting pollution, but algae blooms still threaten Lake Winnipeg

July 24, Metro News:

Advocates will “Walk for Water” this weekend to fight the same Lake Winnipeg pollution fight over the past 10 years—except now the solution is more complicated.

On Monday, days before the walk, the federal government announced a $25.7-million investment into the Lake Winnipeg Basin Program with the aim of reducing nutrient pollution, protecting freshwater quality and collaborating with Indigenous peoples, according to a news release.

“Ten years ago, it was the concern over algae blooms that spurred the original founders of the Lake Winnipeg Foundation,” said Alexis Kanu, the foundation’s executive director, adding any funds they receive would go towards addressing that same concern.

On Sunday, when people gather in Matlock, Manitoba for a five-kilometre walk to raise awareness about lake preservation, they might see some of the slimy substance causing all the trouble.

Blue-green algae is caused by runoff from farmer’s fields and city streets that drains into Lake Winnipeg, overloading the water with nutrients, said Kanu.

The more recent factors of climate change and zebra mussels, an invasive species first found in Lake Winnipeg in 2013, complicate matters further. Read more.

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