LPA urges officials to use Five Island Lake as model for a local-run project.
The Lake Preservation Association requested financial and in-kind support from the county for an expanded dredging project during a public hearing this week.
LPA members said Storm Lake can learn a lot from restoration efforts on Five Island Lake, a 1,000 acre natural lake by Emmetsburg in Palo Alto County.
"Ideally we'd adopt an Emmetsburg model and through community support buy a dredge," said LPA member Phil Redenbaugh this week.
The Department of Natural Resources Storm Lake dredging project will cost approximately $2.67 cents per cubic yard of silt removed, while Emmetsburg has kept costs to about 55 cents per cubic yard of silt removed on Five Island Lake.
Restoration projects on Five Island Lake began in 1989, when the average depth of Five Island Lake was 4 to 6 feet and as low as 2 feet in some spots after a five-year drought. Five Island Lake is 5 1/2 miles long and covers 1,000 acres. Water quality was poor and recreational use declined.
The same year, a group of citizens started pushing for a restoration project. They were appointed to the Five Island Lake Restoration Board by the city council.
The board began work on a dredging project, and requested financial support from the community to purchase a hydraulic dredge, plastic piping and other necessary machinery to increase the lake's depth to between 14 and 16 feet.
In 1990 a $400,000 bond issue was passed with 90 percent of the voters in the community of 4,500. Dredging began in August of of the same year.
As of this year approximately 600 acres have been dredging, and about another 200 more acres are expected to be dredged. Along with that numerous improvement projects have been carried out in the watershed. Water quality monitoring has been ongoing since 1990.
Jim Coffey, member of the Five Island Lake Restoration Board, said the total project will cost about $3 million. The total community contribution exceeds $1 million to this point. Additional funds came from the Aqua-5 Foundation, which collects tax deductible donations, and several other foundations, as well as auctions, raffles and bequests. The restoration board has also received state and federal money.
Because of local support Coffey said costs have been about 55 cents per cubic yard of silt removed, with much of the legal work has been donated.
Highlights of the project include "overwhelming" local support with financial and volunteer involvement; having the oldest volunteer lake monitoring program in the state; project costs much lower than similar projects by the government; and being the largest natural lake restoration project in the country.
For more, check out the web at: http://www.yadaconsulting.com/fiveisland...