RESTORATION PROJECT RANKINGS AND CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT
ELIA Annual Meeting - August 27, 2022
The ELIA is expanding its focus on signiﬁcant lake restoration activities. The goal is to maintain and improve Eagle Lake’s vitality for the next 50 years and for future generations. So how do we do that? Simple question, but not a simple answer. The ELIA Board of Directors recently went through a process of evaluating and ranking “root cause” potential restoration projects for Eagle Lake and its watershed. Board members were asked to rank in order of importance these 13 suggested projects:
- systems for removing in-lake phosphorus
- phosphorus measurement program
- iron-enhanced sand filter
- remove legacy sediment from Eagle Creek
- confirm limited phosphorus release from lake sediment
- alum treatment
- algae management
- assess presence of springs in the lake
- routing clean treatment plant output into the lake
- making the dam variable height
- personal spot dredging
- find a consulting company to work with
- examine external funding sources
The top three vote-getters, those deemed most important at this time, were:
Improving our phosphorus measurement capability. High phosphorus levels in the lake environment are the chief cause of our challenges. While we do collect some phosphorus measures, they are sporadic and not widely available to the Eagle Lake community. We need to have better data so we can target the correct interventions and be able to measure their impact.
Reduction of the phosphorus levels of the water currently in the lake. The classic approach for this in lakes has been aluminum sulfate treatments, but these don’t work well in shallow lakes. Phosphorus pollution is a national and worldwide problem, and there is an expanding focus on ﬁnding solutions. The ELIA will be conducting a fresh search for options for Eagle Lake.
Remember the Iron-Enhanced Sand Filter (IESF)? There was a demonstration at ELIA’s 2018 annual meeting and the now-defunct Watershed Task Force looked into this several years ago. An IESF is a bed of sand and iron that would ﬁlter the water in one or both of the two primary inlet streams, Eagle Creek and Oakcrest Creek, before it enters Eagle Lake. IESF’s can ﬁlter out up to 90% of the phosphorus in the water. The project did not advance because cost estimates came in too high. We are now going to see if technology and construction advances have made this concept more feasible.
In other news, I was pleased that 65 people attended ELIA’s annual meeting August 27, the best attendance in recent years. Keynote speaker, Dr. Pamela Dugan of EutroPHIX, was well received and I was impressed by the dozens of questions that came from the audience. It was a good day for Eagle Lake … I saw an engaged and focused audience intent on preserving this natural resource. I’m also getting interesting responses and feedback since the meeting. We want your input and we want to collaborate with ELMD, local farmers, other organizations, and you to improve Eagle Lake.
We also welcome your ideas and feedback, so click here
to send an email to the ELIA Executives.