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Manitoba, Alberta lakes surveyed have high levels of toxin

A survey of more than 250 lakes across Canada has found a potent liver toxin in every province, with the highest concentrations in central Alberta and southern Manitoba.

The survey published in a scientific journal has found the toxin in certain types of blue-green algae. The toxin, called microcystin, is found in lakes heavily loaded with nutrients from agricultural runoff and development. The survey found nearly 10 per cent of the 256 lakes surveyed had microcystin levels that exceeded Canadian guidelines even for recreational use. Study author Diane Orihel said more research is needed to nail down the conditions that produce the toxin but there is an easy way to explain what she describes as fat lake syndrome. Read more

Feds to spend $18M on Lake Winnipeg cleanup: Harper

Winnipeg Free Press | August 2, 2012

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today $18 million in funding to clean up Lake Winnipeg.

“We are leaving our bit of the world a better place,” he said at a press conference in Gimli, Man., on a hotel on the shore of the lake. The funding is for the second phase of the Lake Winnipeg cleanup initiative that began in 2006. For every dollar Ottawa spends, the province and other partners in the cleanup pitch in $2, he said.

Funding for the cleanup was due to end this year, but Harper is committing federal support for another five years. Read more