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Que. backs farm work to clear lake’s algae

The Quebec government plans to put up $600,000 over three years to fund improvements on farms in the Lake Temiscouata watershed, in hopes of helping to clear the lake’s blue-green algae problem.

The lake, in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region near the province’s borders with Maine and New Brunswick, has about 100 farms on its watershed that could qualify to carry out remedial work, including those along the Touladi, Squatec and Madawaska rivers.

The province will step in to assist farmers with “appropriate management” of fertilizer and pesticide use in the region, farming practices that control field erosion and projects along waterways to stabilize riverbanks and develop buffer strips and riparian areas.

The proposed measures are part of the provincial government’s previously 10-year (2007-17) plan against blue-green algae, focused largely on reducing discharges of phosphorus into the province’s waterways.

Farms in the Temiscouata basin can get support covering up to 90 per cent of their costs to put measures in place against excessive phosphorus loading, through the provincial ag department’s Prime-Vert program.

Luc Vezina, the provincial ag department’s regional director for Bas-Saint-Laurent, said in a release Tuesday that the co-ordination and commitment of farmers and environmental agencies in the region look promising in terms of providing positive results.

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