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Blue-green algae will be monitored

Quinte Conservation will be monitoring levels of blue-green algae in the
Bay of Quinte this summer and fall thanks to funding from the Ministry
of the Environment’s Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program.  Quinte
Conservation has received just over $150,000 for the project.

The local environmental organization will monitor levels of blue-green
algae in the Bay between June and October.  These algae (cyanobacteria)
populations can grow into large masses or “blooms” in warm, shallow,
slow moving, nutrients-rich waters.  Project Manager Keith Taylor
explains, “The data we collect will help us to understand the risk these
toxins pose to our municipal drinking water systems and recreational
areas.”

Protecting source water is the first line of defence in Ontario’s
approach to safeguarding drinking water.  The Ministry of the
Environment is committed to ensuring every Ontarian has access to safe,
high quality drinking water.

“Communities across Ontario have benefited greatly from the Ontario
Drinking Water Stewardship Program, “says John Gerretsen, Minister of
the Environment.  “We are pleased to work together with the local
community to help protect local drinking water sources.

Quinte Conservation has hired Nicole Irvine to spearhead the project and
Tiffany Empey as the project technician.  Taylor adds, “We also plan to
have workshops and a volunteer monitoring program.”  Anyone who is
interested in volunteering can contact Nicole Irvine at Quinte
Conservation at (613) 968-3434.

Other partners in the program are: Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan,
Ministry of the Environment, Environment Canada, Hastings and Prince
Edward Counties Health Unit, Lower Trent Conservation, City of Quinte
West, City of Belleville, Town of Greater Napanee, and Prince Edward
County.

Quinte Conservation is a community based environmental protection agency
that serves 18 municipalities in the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee
and Salmon Rivers and Prince Edward County.  It provides cost effective
environmental expertise and leadership that develops and delivers
programs to ensure the healthy coexistence between the community, the
environment and its economy.  More information is available at
www.quinteconservation.ca.

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