lake access home empact metro project
lake access header
lake data understanding lakes current issues land use/GIS history lawn fertilizer study
 Citizen Action

Find out about upcoming environmental events near you at the Community Calendar

Get involved with your Metro lakes!
Numerous volunteer activities only require a willingness to help and interest in protecting your lakes. You can:

Investigate your local lakes and streams
Join a lake organization
Let your voice be heard
Change your daily habits
Involve your local schools
Enjoy your lake

VOLUNTEER TO INVESTIGATE YOUR LOCAL LAKES AND STREAMS!
We don't have enough RUSS units to collect data from every lake in the Metro area (remember Minnesota has 11,842 lakes)! Volunteers provide vital information about the status of their waterbody. Collecting water quality information assists state and local agency staff in expanding the amount of information currently available about your lake. These volunteer monitoring efforts can be used with other water quality measurements to assess long-term water quality trends and to identify potential problems in your lake, thus aiding community-based water policy and management decisions.

METRO PROGRAMS

Lake Minnetonka Citizens Monitoring & Education Network: Fifty citizen volunteers who live on or near Lake Minnetonka are collecting data and making observations from 40 sites on Lake Minnetonka for the 2000 summer season. The volunteers will be taking weekly water clarity readings using a Secchi disk (8-inch, circular, all-white metal plate attached to a calibrated rope) as well as making observations of wildlife, weather events, aquatic plants, and other lake activities. The volunteers will monitor Lake Minnetonka for zebra mussels, an invasive aquatic nuisance species (link to exotics page) through a program organized by Minnesota Sea Grant with cooperation from the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District. Monitoring efforts are also being conducted for the city of Victoria on Lake Virginia, Schutz Lake, Lake Auburn and a small, unnamed pond.

GET INVOLVED
Dick Osgood, Lake Minnetonka Citizen Monitoring and Education Network
Project Manager, (612) 470-4449

Metropolitan Council Environmental Services Citizen Assisted Monitoring Program Citizens and county organizations are measuring the water quality of over 100 Twin Cities Metro lakes in 2000 with the assistance of the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services. Groups take water clarity measurements and water samples that the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services analyze for basic water chemistry parameters.

GET INVOLVED
Randy Anhorn, Metropolitan Council Environmental Services Citizen Assisted Monitoring Program Coordinator, (612) 291-6449


Hennepin Conservation District River Watch Program
The Hennepin Conservation District (HCD) River Watch Program provides hands-on environmental education for high school and college students, promotes river stewardship, and obtains water quality information on streams in Hennepin County. The River Watch Program connects over 1000 teachers and students with professionals to monitor the health of twenty-two local stream sites. The students collect macroinvertebrates (organisms that live all or part of their life cycle on the river bottom, such as mayflies, caddisflies, and midges) and assess stream habitat characteristics twice a year using National River Watch Network methods, which are based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Bioassessment Protocols. In HCD's River Watch Program, there are currently sample sites in the Watersheds of Elm Creek, Pioneer-Sarah Creek, Shingle Creek, Bassett Creek, Purgatory Creek, West Mississippi, Minnehaha Creek, and Nine Mile Creek. However, there are still many sites that still need volunteers!

GET INVOLVED
Tricia Mangold, Hennepin Conservation District River Watch Coordinator,
(612) 544-8572

 

STATEWIDE PROGRAMS

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizen Lake-Monitoring Program: Over 800 volunteers in Minnesota, including many in the Metro, work with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizen Lake -Monitoring Program (MPCA-CLMPto collect water clarity readings using a Secchi disk about once a week during the summer. This information helps identify long-term trends in the water quality of lakes.
Hennepin County Secchi Transparency data
Lake Minnetonka and Lake Independence Secchi data

GET INVOLVED

Apply on-line or contact Jennifer Klang, MPCA-CLMP Statewide Coordinator,
(651) 282-2618
Lake Independence Secchi Transparency Data
Lake Minnetonka Secchi Transparency Data

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Lake Level Minnesota
Volunteers and cooperative organizations are collecting and reporting the water level of over 900 lakes throughout the state. Knowing the history of these fluctuations can be of assistance in coping with lake problems such as flooding, drought-related access, vegetation growth, or lakeshore erosion.

GET INVOLVED
Department of Natural Resources Waters Information (651) 296-4800


Coming Soon: Zebra Mussel Watch
: Minnesota Sea Grant and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are about to launch a statewide effort involving volunteers in monitoring their inland waters for this invasive mussel.

Need more information about volunteer monitoring?
Minnesota Lakes Association-Volunteer Monitoring Programs
Environmental Protection Agency: Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring
Volunteer Monitoring Groups On-Line

 

JOIN AN ORGANIZATION THAT CARES ABOUT LAKES

MINNESOTA LAKES ASSOCIATION
NORTH AMERICAN LAKE MANAGEMENT SOCIETY

POLITICAL ACTION: LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD

  1. Attend and speak at your local meeting or join a county advisory board or committee that protects you lakes
    City of Minnetonka
    Lake Minnetonka Conservation District
    Minnehaha Creek Watershed District or Find your Watershed District
    Hennepin County
    Metropolitan Council
  2. Contact your elected officials

Change your daily habits to protect the water quality of your lake
University of Minnesota Extension Service Best Management Practices
Department of Natural Resources Shoreline Management
Minnesota Shoreland Management Resources Guide-coming soon

STUDENT AND TEACHER ACTION: INVOLVE YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL

Integrate lake monitoring into your curriculum
Sharing Environmental Education Knowledge (SEEK)
Minnesota Lakes Association list of Environmental Education Resources
Environmental Protection Agency's Kids pages
Directions to make your own Water Sampling Devices from SAREP

ENJOY YOUR LAKE

Still here? Go out and do what you love best, enjoy your lake alone or with family and friends.

SEND US YOUR PICTURES
If you are taking action to monitor and protect your lake in the Metro area, contact us to get your story and picture on our Web site.

Coming soon…Clearinghouse for Minnesota stream volunteer monitoring efforts (Because streams impact the water quality of your lakes, too.)

{addon}

home what's new about us contact us
faq's site map links