CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University’s Carbondale campus officials are working to drop levels at the school’s popular Campus Lake to combat toxic algae issues, which has forced the lake’s closure for the past three summers.

University officials in July announced the effort to drop lake levels to allow the algae dry out. Officials plan to expose 20 acres of the shoreline, The Southern Illinoisan ( reported. The school also plans to take a survey about the value of the lake to the area.

Kevin Bame, vice chancellor for finance and administration at the university’s Carbondale campus, said the lake level may be coming down faster than anticipated.

“What we have left is getting to the deeper part of the lake, and there should be plenty of water there to support the aquatic life in the lake along with any wildlife,” Bame said.

Campus Lake is an essential for people attending university and members of the community, officials said.

Randy Burnside, a deputy associate provost and associate professor of political science at SIUC, said faculty and staff want the lake to be open for a variety of reasons.

“There are other members of the larger community that I know who went to Campus Lake to take advantage of the lake as a fishing resource and other people who I know that took advantage of the lake as a walking resource and they enjoyed the wildlife that was associated with the lake itself,” Burnside said.

Information from: Southern Illinoisan,