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BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Elevated levels of toxin-producing bacteria have closed Burlington’s North Beach.

The Burlington Free Press reports ( ) the Vermont city’s Parks and Recreation Department announced the closure Monday afternoon, citing a cyanobacteria bloom.

Cyanobacteria produce a sickening toxin. University of Vermont professor Andrew Schroth says the bacteria thrive in warm still water where phosphorus from runoff sources is present. Cyanobacteria pose a threat to humans and marine organisms.

Most local beaches didn’t see blooms this summer. State health authorities say residents should remain cognizant of bacteria levels this week as Vermont sees high temperatures.

Reducing phosphorus flushing from farms, roads and urban areas has proved difficult over the years. According to Republican Gov. Phil Scott, a Lake Champlain cleanup could cost over $1 billion.


Information from: The Burlington Free Press,