What you can do to keep it

Resilient shoreline Workshop on September 25th from 4:30-6:30pm at the Watershed District Office

Recently completed water quality projects in Wyoming and Forest Lake are reducing algae and improving the health of our local lakes and rivers. On Wednesday, August 30th the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District (CLFLWD) celebrated the completion of the “Sunrise River HWY-61 Wetland Enhancement Project” and the “County Road-50 Iron Enhanced Sand Filter Project”. Each of these projects reduce the amount of phosphorus entering our local water ways by over 85 lbs/yr, among other benefits.

Phosphorus is a naturally occurring nutrient that lowers water quality and promotes algae growth. One pound of phosphorus can support up to 500 pounds of algae. Over time, human activity has significantly increased the amount of phosphorus entering our water and has resulted in increased algae growth and lower water quality. Large-scale water quality projects, like the ones celebrated on the 30th, trap the excess phosphorus before it enters our water ways; reducing algae blooms and improving the health of our lakes and rivers.

However, large-scale projects are not the only way to improve our lakes. Individual actions play a key role in protecting the health of our local lakes and rivers; particularly how we treat our shorelines. Nearly half of Minnesota’s natural shorelines have been lost, and natural shoreline continues to vanish at an alarming rate.

Mowed shorelines allow 7 to 9 times more pollutants to enter the water than a naturally vegetated shoreline. These pollutants (such as phosphorus) accumulate in lakes, creating serious water quality problems and promoting algae growth. By returning even a portion of their shoreline to natural conditions, individuals can protect the health of their lakes and rivers.

For many, restoring a shoreline can feel overwhelming. However, there are resources available to make the process easier. This past spring, the CLFLWD launched its new Comprehensive Shoreline Program which provides technical and financial resources to shoreline owners looking to restore and protect their shorelines. Technical resources include free site visits, planting maps, and tool rentals. Financial assistance includes grants, cost-sharing, and tax rebates.

Learn more about how natural shorelines protect our lakes, and the resources available to local residents, at the CLFLWD’s Resilient Shorelines Workshop on September 25th from 4:30-6:30pm at the CLFLWD Office 44 Lake St. South, Suite A, Forest Lake, MN 55025. RSVP encouraged at www.clflwd.org/events.

Topic Contact

Blayne Eineichner

Project Coordinator

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