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$2M in U.S. aid targets algae in west Lake Erie

Toledo Blade — In an effort to combat the toxic organic sludge known as blue-green algae, which has plagued western Lake Erie for years, killing fish and hampering water recreation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be handing out $2 million to farmers in three states.

Two U.S. senators, two congressmen, and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the plan Friday at Cabela’s in Dundee.

The money is to be used to help farmers in designated parts of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana prevent phosphorus from entering Western Lake Erie Basin waterways.

Mr. Vilsack was joined by senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and U.S. Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) and John Dingell (D., Dearborn, Mich.).

The funding allocation is part of an effort to improve water quality and support jobs in Ohio that are generated through the hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation industries tied to Lake Erie, Senator Brown said.

“A healthy Lake Erie is vital to Ohio’s prosperity, and achieving this goal requires a comprehensive, all-hands-on-deck strategy,” Mr. Brown said. “These new resources will enable farmers to employ the best conservation practices possible and demonstrate how farmers can contribute to revitalizing Lake Erie and the recreation, tourism, and boating industries the lake supports.”

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