What will our lakes be like in 50 years?

What will our lakes be like in 50 years?

I would like your help in determining, in a general way, the answer to that very important question.

We will use the procedure I developed for my talk to folks at the Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning in Park Rapids in northern Minnesota.  These were the people who first presented me with this question.

My premise is that what our lakes will be like in 50 years will largely depend on human behavior in the decades to come.

Ready?  Let’s go.

Examine my list of activities or circumstances below that have negative effects on lakes.  Then respond to this question for each:  Which of these twelve items do you think people are likely to change for the better as time passes?  List the numbers of the items you say YES to in the comment box at the right and send it on.

Seventy seven people took on this assignment in Park Rapids.  That’s a small sample.  Your participation will help us obtain more reliable results.  Please encourage others to participate as well to increase our sample size.  I will share the results in a future blog post soon.


Mowed grass lawns to water’s edge


Allowing leaves to get into storm sewers and waterways


Continued failure of passage of lake shore zoning regulations


Doing nothing to reduce extensive impervious surfaces


Ignoring DNR rules on herbicide used to control plants


Cropland runoff


Removal of native aquatic plants from shores


Improper disposal of paint, oil, & hazardous wastes


Removal of woody debris from lake shores


Loss of lake habitat by aquatic invasive species


Townships & county boards issuing excessive variances


People not understanding how runoff from watersheds affect lake health.

Thanks.  I hope you are as curious as I am to get a glimpse of our lakes’ futures.

Darby Nelson

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