Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Lake Winnipeg conservation projects get $600-K boost

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THE health of Lake Winnipeg got a $600,000 boost Monday from the Selinger government.

Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh said eight projects will split the money for reducing the amount of algae-producing nutrients entering the lake from Manitoba sources and beyond.

Mackintosh said the money and work by the recipients help dispel the belief of some that the lake is dying.

Recently, German-based environmental group Global Nature Fund said Lake Winnipeg was in the running for Threatened Lake of the Year 2013. The nomination was made by its affiliate, Living Lakes Canada. The Threatened Lake of the Year will be chosen Feb. 2 on World Wetland Day.

Mackintosh said the focus should be on what's being done to reduce the amount of phosphorus and other contaminants entering the lake's watershed. It's phosphorus that contributes to the growth of thick, green algae blooms during the summer months.

The groups who will get funding include Lake Friendly, which will receive more than $75,000 for its ongoing public awareness campaign telling Manitobans how they can reduce phosphorus entering the lake. The program is run by a partnership of nine municipalities along Lake Winnipeg's south basin.

Mackintosh also announced $100,000 for an ongoing grant to support the Red River Basin Commission and its efforts to improve cross-border nutrient management.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 22, 2013 A4

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