Coon Lake Lakeshore Restoration – One Year Later

One year ago, ACD partnered with the Sunrise River WMO and a homeowner on Coon Lake to restore a damaged and degraded shoreline to improve water quality and lakeshore habitat, as well as promote native plant diversity and pollinator habitat. The shoreline was degraded by waves and ice, mowing of turf grass to the water's edge, and further damaged by tunneling muskrats. To correct these issues, the shoreline was regraded to a more gentle approach to the water, a muskrat deterrent was buried along the shoreline, and turf grass was replaced with native plants ranging from aquatic-emergent at the water's edge, to upland plants further up the bank.

The project was installed in July of 2020, and despite the recent drought, has flourished after one year of growth. Creating a diverse, native lakeshore can often be as simple as no longer mowing turf grass near the water's edge and planting native shoreline plants to create a more natural buffer area. The Anoka Conservation District can offer technical assistance to any landowner interested in creating a more beneficial shoreline, and oftentimes can bring financial assistance to a project as well. 

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Water Quality Improvements Constructed for Coon and Martin Lakes

One rain garden and two stormwater pond renovations were completed in November to treat stormwater before it reaches Martin and Coon Lakes. The projects will collectively treat 39 acres of residential development that previously were draining to the lakes with little or no treatment. They will keep 2,100 pounds of sediment and 5 pounds of phosphorus from reaching the lakes each year.

These waterbodies were priorities because both lakes are surrounded by homes and heavily used for recreation. Martin Lake is nearing the criteria for being removed from the State's list of impaired waters. Coon Lake has good water quality but is under pressure.

The rain garden was constructed in cooperation with a residential landowner along Hupp Street. Their property is a key location where drainage from 8 acres converged and entered a catch basin that piped stormwater to Coon Lake. Curb cuts on each side of the catch basin now intercept that water, allowing it to soak into the ground within the rain garden. Pollutant removal is estimated to increase by 52% compared to the pre-project condition. Mulching and planting of the gardens will be delayed until spring 2021 due to cold temperatures early in fall 2020. The property owners will maintain the garden.

The stormwater pond projects are redesigns and renovations of older ponds. Both ponds are on Martin Lakeshore within township-owned property. Both basins had filled with sediment over time and were providing little water quality treatment. Now, the basins are even larger than originally constructed to maximize pollutant removal. Pollutant removal is estimated to increase by 84% and 104%, respectively, at the two ponds. Linwood Township will own and maintain the basins.

These projects are part of a State Clean Water, Land and Legacy grant to the Sunrise River Watershed Management Organization. The Anoka Conservation District is managing the projects. Additional funds remain and will be used for similar projects in 2021.

Collaborators on these projects included the ACD, SRWMO, Martin Lakers Association, Linwood Township, and the City of East Bethel.

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