A health concern for Lake Champlain is growing each year.
Vermont environmental officials say nutrient levels as a result of pollution have continued to rise in the lake over the past few decades and that's fueling the growth of blue-green algae. The state is keeping a close eye on the problem.
"This last year we saw an increase over past years, partly as a result of the flooding from Irene, and also combined with the fact that we had low rainfall this summer. There was that combination led to an increase in the number of blue-green algae blooms that we saw this year, and we started to see blooms in places we hadn't seen them, like in parts of the main lake," said David Mears, the Vt. Environmental Conservation Commissioner.
Mears says the algae blooms have now stopped or slowed dramatically with the seasonal drop in temperatures.
The algae can irritate the skin and make people sick if it's ingested. It can also be lethal to pets.