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Workers making progress on University Lakes cleaning project

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BATON ROUGE - Crews were busy working on the University Lakes Thursday, dipping their shovels in and scooping out years of debris and muck from the water. 

Right now, the dredging is a test to see what process will be best to clean up the rest of the lakes. 

Governor John Bel Edwards and Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome were at the scene Thursday to oversee work as phase one of the University Lakes Project continues. 

Edwards says the lakes are supposed to be an asset to Baton Rouge, and right now, they're anything but. 

"Quite frankly, we haven't maintained them very well, and when they get too shallow, the water quality is poor, and it doesn't support wildlife," Edwards said. 

City Park Lake is in the worst shape. If you drive over it on I-10, you can see the water covered in a thick green mat of algae. About two months ago, dozens of dead fish floated on the surface of the lake.

Edwards says the goal isn't just to make the lakes look nicer, but the project will hopefully also help with flooding — a constant concern in Baton Rouge. 

"If these lakes hold more water, that is less in our neighborhoods," Edwards said. 

The project is currently in phase one, but the cleaning is going to be a long process. 

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