A Lifetime Protecting Lake Pepin: Dave Smith Member Profile

For generations, people have been sounding the alarm about Lake Pepin’s sedimentation. The alarm has been ringing for so long that a new concern is whether or not we are still hearing it. For too many, it is easy to shrug one’s shoulders at the muddy Minnesota River as it discolors the Mississippi River just upstream of Lake Pepin. “It’s been like that my entire life,” we’ve heard old-time river users say. But the fact is— time doesn’t make it right. If anything, it simply means that change is long overdue.

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(AUDIO) Waiting on the Wind: Time, Memory and a River Journey on Lake Pepin

by John van Vliet

In the morning, as I point my sailboat’s slender bow out past the breakwater at the Lake City Marina, the old diesel engine putt-putt-putting below my feet, there is no wind. Ampersand, my vintage 38-foot sloop, wrinkles her own reflection across the flat-calm steel-gray surface of the broad Lake Pepin. Six miles to the east, I can make out the rooftops of the town of Pepin; to the north, the tiny village of Stockholm lies nestled in a shadowed fold of the high limestone bluffs. The calm of mornings like this belies the wind at noon.

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