L’eutrofizzazione dei laghi, fioriture algali e tossine: Vermont $45 M per fermare il fosforo

Vermont Gets $45 Million to Clean up Algae-Ridden Lake Champlain

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM

click to enlarge From left, Congressman Peter Welch, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Senator Patrick Leahy at the ECHO Center in Burlington. - ALICIA FREESE

  • From left, Congressman Peter Welch, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Senator Patrick Leahy at the ECHO Center in Burlington.

News about Lake Champlain has been dismal lately, with pervasive blue-green algae blooms popping up in places like St. Albans Bay and Missisquoi Bay.

Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack came to town to announce the arrival of a more welcome form of green — $46 million of federal funding to clean up Lake Champlain.

Standing with U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) on the ECHO Center balcony, which overlooks a markedly less scummy section of the lake, Vilsack said he’d just been looking at worrisome water samples. “There’s no question it needs help.”

The federal government is doubling its contribution to the effort, according to Vilsack. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sent $45 million Vermont’s way over the last decade; now it’s making the same investment over a five-year period. The money will be spent to help farmers create buffers, adopt better tillage techniques and put up fences to prevent livestock from accessing nearby bodies of water, among other conservation efforts. The state is also receiving $1 million immediately help producers plant “crop covers” to stabilize vulnerable soil.

Fueling the algae blooms, which can be toxic, is the excessive amount of phosphorous that’s finding its way into Lake Champlain. Agriculture accounts for roughly 35 percent of the phosphorous, according to the EPA; stream runoff and development are also major offenders. Vermont recently submitted a new plan for reducing phosphorous to the EPA after a lawsuit from the Conservation Law Foundation proved that the state’s previous plan didn’t meet federal clean water standards.
Read more at: http://www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/archives/2014/08/28/vermont-gets-45-million-to-clean-up-algae-ridden-lake-champlain

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