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State officials release first part of water protection plan


State officials have released the first part of a 30-year plan to manage, protect and improve Michigan's water resources.

The Department of Environmental Quality's Office of the Great Lakes developed the strategy.

The initial phase focuses on educating citizens about the importance of healthy waters while nurturing and restoring aquatic ecosystems.

How well the state carries out the strategy will be measured through factors such as conditions of fish populations and the number of untreated sewage discharges.

Gov. Rick Snyder says his administration will focus on five areas: ensuring safe drinking water; reducing by 40 percent the level of phosphorus in western Lake Erie, which can cause harmful algae blooms; preventing introduction of invasive species; investing in commercial and recreational harbors; and developing Michigan's water trails system.

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