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Blue-Green Algae Reported On Burlington Waterfront

The Vermont Department of Health reported the year’s first sightings of cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) on Lake Champlain Friday.

The department’s interactive Vermont blue green algae tracker shows two  “low alerts” for the toxic algae right on the Burlington waterfront. The reports came from “south of Perkins Pier” and the Community Sailing Center, according to the website.

A “low alert” means “small amounts of blue-green algae were observed during our visit. This area is open for recreation, but caution is advised in any location where dense accumulations of scum are apparent,” according to the department’s website.

The site says no toxin tests were conducted and the presence of the algae was only confirmed visually.

Cyanobacteria on Lake Champlain has been a growing problem in recent years, even as the state and federal government spend millions of dollars to quell the flow of algae-fueling phosphorus to the lake. A 2012 fish kill in Mississquoi Bay was caused by algae, and poor water quality in St. Albans Bay last summer was part of a statewide debate this spring on water quality.

The St. Albans Bay problems caused the Town of Georgia to lower listed property values for dozens of bayside properties this year.

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