l-r, Dave Fischer, President Whitefish Area Property Owners Assn., Judy Topinka, Rollie Johnson Natural Area, Jim Brandt, Chair, Big Island Joint Powers Board.
They accepted a nature print as part of the award. The award was presented by Phll Hunsicker, Program Director of EnvIsion Minnesota, for their outstanding work in organizing the restoration of over 1,100 feet of severely eroding shoreline.
Sand from eroding shoreline and fragile sugar sand banks carries phosphorus into the lake, promoting algae growth, decreased water clarity, and degraded water quality.
The sand also covers rocky lake bottoms that walleyes lay their eggs on, resulting in fewer walleyes.
The effort required was mind-boggling: getting large grants, ordering materials, marshaling volunteers, and coordinating planning with the Minnesota DNR and with the Crow Wing SWCD.
The volunteers spent many long days on steep sandy slopes or wading in water at the base After the “bundles” at the base, the protective fabric on the steep banks, and the plants placed through holes in the fabric were in, the new natural plantings had to be watered.
For the rest of the summer a fishing boat, fitted with a very large pump, was used to draw water from the adjacent lake. It was sprayed onto the newly planted banks.
Below: Eroding bank on part of the project
Below:Immediately after restoration work
Below: One year later
Over 1100 feet of shoreline was restored over a period of several years. The above 3 photos are only a part of the whole project.