Myrtle Lake experiences frequent nuisance algae blooms and does not meet Minnesota state standards for total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a. This has led to questions whether the productivity and condition of the lake has changed over time, what the natural or historical condition of the lake was, what the current trajectory of the lake is, and how to set effective management goals.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will coordinate the collection of high-resolution elevation data for northeastern portion of Minnesota using Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) systems. The geographic area of the work includes Minnesota counties of Carlton, Cook, Lake, and St. Louis Counties and that portion of Koochiching County that comprises Voyageurs National Park.
This project will provide an important framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication in the International Rainy River-Lake of the Woods Watershed, which will contribute to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities.
Five locations will be monitored in support of the combined Vermilion Community College and Rainy River Community College 2014 – 2015 MPCA Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) Sampling Grant. Water samples, field measurements, field images / pictures, and other measurements and observations will be obtained at each location during each sampling event.
The VRWJPO is pursuing a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) project in cooperation with the MPCA in order to better identify the sources of stress and impairment to the river, tributaries, and lakes and evaluate the feasibility of reaching water quality goals, and properly allocating pollution reduction goals to those areas identified as likely pollution sources. Successful restoration and protection outcomes are dependent on successful community building and ownership of both the problems and solutions identified in the WRAPS.
Vermilion Community College will assist the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) with meeting the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) development objectives of collecting data and completing watershed assessments for the Rainy River Headwaters, Vermilion River, and Little Fork River watersheds. Services will include providing support for field water monitoring, other field sampling and measurements and related field data management, analysis, and assessments in these watersheds.