BURLINGTON, Vt. — Up to $45 million will be provided by the USDA to protect and improve soil and water quality in Vermont’s Lake Champlain Basin over the next five years, according to a press release.

In recent years, Lake Champlain has been plagued by blue-green algae blooms, a result of degraded water quality primarily due to phosphorous pollution, which can periodically become toxic, stated the release.

The release continued that phosphorus can affect water quality by enabling excessive aquatic plant and algae growth that can contribute to fish dying off and other environmental impacts.

Funding will be supplied for conservation activities on and around farming operations in the Missisquoi Bay, St. Albans Bay and South Lake Watersheds, noted the release.

"We are dedicated to protecting and improving this beautiful and unique natural resource," said USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This historic USDA investment will help improve water quality while assisting producers in establishing and expanding sound conservation practices."

You can find the release here.