lowwsf_logoA big "thank you" to all who have invested in the future of Lake of the Woods by donating to the Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation or by helping us at public meetings. Your gifts and support are helping to develop a sustainability plan for our lake.  A key element will be standards and reduction targets for phosphorus, responsible for the algae blooms.

thumb LOW 1W1P 640The local governments within the Minnesota portion of the Lake of the Woods Watershed are collaborating together on a watershed-based plan known as the One Watershed, One Plan. Those governments include Lake of the Woods County, Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Warroad River Watershed District, Roseau County and Roseau SWCD.  The ultimate goal of the planning effort is to implement water management activities on a watershed basis, spanning jurisdictional boundaries.

thumb stormdrain stencillingOnly Rain Down the Drain!  That’s the message behind a binational storm drain stenciling project this past summer.  Our Foundation's Watershed Coordination Program engaged youth and the communities of Fort Frances and Kenora, Ontario and International Falls, Minnesota to paint messages beside storm drains next to Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River.  The messages are reminders to take care of what goes into those storm drains. These drains lead directly to the river and lake, without treatment.  Soap used for car washing, oils, gas and greases, fertilizers on lawns and other contaminants can get washed down into these drains with overland flow.

thumb 8ijcboardAlgae blooms during late summer and fall on Lake of the Woods remain a concern that was highlighted by the Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board at it's meetings with IJC Commissioners in Ottawa, October 25, 2017.

The view from space is compelling with blue green algae blooms widespread across the southern basin  - "the Big Traverse" beginning in early summer.  By fall, blooms covered most of the lake including in the middle channel and north central basin around Kenora.  Blooms persisted well into late October.