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BREC officials say fixing LSU lakes a top priority

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BATON ROUGE - It's gone from blue to green to red, the city park lake covered in thick layers of algae that are now dying.

BREC has been working to fix the problem for weeks now, waiting on shipments of algae-fixing carp that can't travel because of the heat.

But even that is just a temporary solution to a much bigger problem. 

"They're losing their depth," BRAF Vice President John Spain said. "The longer we don't fix them, the more they are in peril and we're seeing that literally as the algae bloom takes over city park."

At its deepest, the lake is only about two feet. It makes for very warm water temperatures and thriving algae. 

Officials say this is a symptom of the lakes trying to revert back to the cypress swamps they used to be, but if we want to keep the lakes, nature needs intervention from humans and machines.

Dredging the lakes to make them deeper would solve a bunch of issues the dying ecosystems are facing, including the algae. It's been part of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation's master plan for three years now: a plan to rehaul the entire lake system. 

"So the whole package, landscaping, rebuilding it, where all of us would be proud of it... It would be safe, and the lakes would be healthy again. It would be $40-45 million," Spain said. 

BRAF says the algae problem has made finding the funding to fix the lakes its number one priority. 

"As a result from all the interest from the public, talking to the mayor, talking to the council and the state leaders, we think we are getting closer to some solutions. None yet, but we're optimistic that we may be able to put together enough money to start on the project."

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