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We love our lakes!

Minnesota’s lakes are the best! For generations we have looked to our lakes for relaxation, recreation, and family memories. The thought of a weekend at the lake stirs up emotions many of us can’t put into words. Whether you are a regular at a resort, own a cabin or just like fishing or boating, you know the value of our lakes.


Lakes drive much of our economy in the north. We have not only some of the cleanest lakes in the state, but in the entire country! Our lakes and rivers are also the source of clean drinking water for many larger cities downstream.


Unfortunately, many of our waters are in danger to a host of threats. Due to over development and land use disturbances of all kinds our lakes are becoming inundated with storm water runoff. This runoff is filled with contaminants like phosphorus and nitrates that cause changes to our water quality and throw off the natural balance in our lakes and rivers.


Protecting Water

Properties that are directly connected to open water sources have greater potential to harm the quality of the water. Overdevelopment or broad land use conversion near water sources results in lower water quality. Storm water collects contaminants from buildings, and fertilized yard space. Impervious surfaces like the roof of a building or paved driveway/walkways, expedite the flow of storm water runoff. The contaminants, and additional nutrients/phosphorus that stormwater carries is harmful when it enters waterways. Just one pound of phosphorus rapidly grows into five hundred pounds of algae when it activates in water. 


Phosphorus is a nutrient found in manure, leaves, soil, and fertilizer. Under natural conditions phosphorus is typically scarce in water. Human activities, however, have resulted in excessive phosphorus loading into our lakes. Phosphorus triggers harmful algae blooms.


The good news: There are many simple conservation practices that can protect or even increase the water quality in our lakes!


Slow the flow

Slowing and absorbing stormwater runoff is critical to protecting water quality.


Rain barrels are fantastic for capturing runoff from rooflines under a downspout.


Broken walkway and driveway surfaces like stone or pebble allow water to better soak into the ground. 


The deep roots of trees and native plants act as a sponge, soaking up storm water runoff. 


Possibly most effective ( and beautiful) are rain gardens with native flowers and plants. Strategically placed rain gardens do a fantastic job of soaking up excess water.

Aquatic Invasive Species

The pressure many of our lakes see from recreational users can take a toll. As mobile  as we are, (fishermen, boaters, paddle boarders, kayakers, etc...) we hop from lake-to-lake with ease. Aquatic invasive species (AIS) or non-native plants, animals and sometimes fish are finding ways to spread along with our movements. The easiest mode of transportation for AIS is unfortunately by interaction with us. 

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