Delisting sampler: Clean Water Funds linked to lake, stream improvements

Pelican Creek flows through Grant County to the Pomme de Terre River. A segment of the creek is among the waters slated to be removed from the state impaired waters list in 2022. Photo Credit: Grant SWCD
In Sherburne County, Birch Lake’s water quality has improved as a result of Clean Water Fund-backed stormwater retrofits. Photo Credit: Sherburne SWCD

Sherburne County

Birch Lake, a 150-acre lake with a township boat launch and swimming beach northeast of Big Lake, saw water quality improve as a result of five targeted stormwater retrofits installed from 2016 through 2018. A $70,005 Clean Water Fund grant Sherburne SWCD received from BWSR in 2016 supported the Big Lake Township project, which keeps an estimated 10 pounds of phosphorus and 3,000 pounds of sediment out of the lake annually.

Outlet Creek flows from Lake Minnewaska to Lake Emily in Pope County. Photo Credit: Pope SWCD

Pope County

Outlet Creek, which flows from Lake Minnewaska across rolling farmland and glacial hills to Lake Emily southwest of Starbuck, was listed in 2012 as impaired for aquatic life. The creek lies within the Lake Emily watershed, the focus of four Clean Water Fund grants from BWSR.

The regional stormwater management structure supported by a Clean Water Fund grant is buried under the parking lot shown here near Lake George in St. Cloud. The Stearns County SWCD project contributed to improved water quality. Photo Credit: Stearns County SWCD

Stearns County

Situated in downtown St. Cloud, surrounded by a park and encircled by a paved walking path, 8.5-acre Lake George draws paddlers and ice skaters. A free weekly summer music series attracts thousands. For two decades, the Stearns County SWCD and city of St. Cloud have worked together to improve water quality and clarity of the nutrient-impaired lake.

An angler fished from the pier at Lily Lake in Stillwater. Photo Credit: Ann Wessel, BWSR

Washington County

Lily Lake, a picturesque 41-acre lake in Stillwater bordered by a small city park with a fishing pier, boat launch, ballfields and an indoor ice arena, achieved the phosphorus reductions necessary for delisting after a regional filtration basin was installed and a subsequent alum treatment completed this fall.

A kayaker paddled on Sunfish Lake, where the Lower Mississippi River WMO initiated an alum treatment supported by a Clean Water Fund grant. Photo Credit: Lower Mississippi River WMO

Dakota County

Sunfish Lake, a 47-acre water body in the small city of the same name, saw an estimated 80% reduction in internal phosphorus-loading, the result of an in-lake alum treatment supported by a $196,000 Clean Water Fund grant. Treatment took place in 2017. BWSR awarded the grant to the Lower Mississippi River Watershed Management Organization (WMO) in 2016. The grant also covered a Lake Augusta alum treatment.

Pelican Creek benefited from a livestock exclosure. Photo Credit: Grant SWCD

Grant County

From the Grant County line near Ashby, the delisted segment of Pelican Creek flows south and then west, skirting Pelican Lake and meandering across farmland on its way to the Pomme de Terre River.

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ mission is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners. www.bwsr.state.mn.us

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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Our mission is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners.