Lake Pepin’s ready for a brighter future

Scuttlebutt Magazine, April 2018

Author: Mac Becco, Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance

Note–This is the second and final installment of a series exploring the issues affecting Lake Pepin. Last month we focused on the environmental issues that affect recreational boating. This month, we look at the economic and lifestyle implications that are impacting the communities along the river and the people who call those communities home. Bruce Claflin, Scuttlebutt Magazine

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Viewpoint: Citizens should attend Lake Pepin Restoration meeting

Red Wing Republican Eagle, 3/ 28/2018

By Rylee Main, Executive Director, Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance

1. What is the restoration project?

The restoration project at the upper end of Lake Pepin is designed to improve fish and wildlife habitat in the areas most impacted by shallow, muddy water. Constructing new islands and extending peninsulas will protect vulnerable areas from wind to create pockets of clear, undisturbed water that support healthy beds of aquatic vegetation.

The project is viable because special federal funds are available to utilize dredge material from the navigation channel to construct the base of the islands. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is covering 65 percent of the projects costs plus an expected $6 million for material transportation. Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance is responsible for fundraising the local cost-share, estimated between $3-5 million.

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Project is first step to restore Upper Lake Pepin

Rochester Post Bulletin, 3/8/2018

Author: Mac Becco (formerly Consoer), Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance

Like many waters in southern Minnesota, it is impaired by excess sediment and phosphorus, both of which threaten cascading impacts that could eventually lead to ecological collapse. Sediment accumulation is a particular concern since it is causing social impacts, such as reduced accessibility to upstream areas and adjacent communities.

A sustainable solution will require upstream mitigation, but local restoration is also necessary to manage the cumulative impacts and sustain current uses on the lake.  

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Sediment is causing record boat groundings in Lake Pepin: Restoration efforts need widespread support

Scuttlebutt Magazine, March 2018

Author: Mac Becco (formerly Consoer), Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance

Boat groundings in Lake Pepin, the widest section of the Mississippi River, reached an all-time high in 2017. Several grounding events were accompanied by significant health and financial injuries. The main culprit is sediment filling in Lake Pepin, a natural process exacerbated by upstream land practices. Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance (LPLA), a grassroots organization created in response to sedimentation, has been at the helm informing the public about impacts such as boat groundings, isolated communities, and the lake’s ecological vulnerability to collapse. By educating lake users, they hope to mobilize support for a large-scale restoration project, which requires a 35% local cost-share.

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