Lake and Watershed Assistance Program, LWAP

Local groups often face considerable organizational obstacles. FWCF can help:

  1. Contributions to FWCF are tax deductible. The FWCF Board will review your project to determine if it meets the tax law criteria freeing partner organizations to work together on decision making for the common good.
  2. Water problems often require a watershed or multiple lake focus, with no single organization available to pull the effort together. FWCF’s LWAP provides local leaders from the various affected lakes the structure to come together and work cooperatively to define and solve the problems at hand, without needing to create a new organization or worry about which existing organization should take the lead.
  3. FWCF’s LWAP provides administrative support, including managing contributions and disbursements, contracting with service providers, and helping organize local planning efforts to define and solve water problems and pay for the solutions.
  4. FWCF’s LWAP may help relate a local situation to others around the state so that local leaders can be connected, in achieving funding partnerships with local governmental organizations responsible for water quality concerns, and in obtaining grants from foundations, state agencies and the organizations responsible for recommending disbursement of state funding constitutionally dedicated to environmental purposes.
Case Study -

Kohlam, Gervais and Keller Lake Alliance FWCF’s LWAP currently is engaged with homeowners on Kohlman, Gervais and Keller Lakes in the Phalen Lake watershed in the East Metro. Starting a few years ago, the residents on the lake became increasingly concerned with an explosion in the growth of aquatic plants. Navigation and navigation have become increasingly more difficult. In addition, a number of lakes in the area were discovered to have Aquatic Invasive Species, AIS.

One resident from each lake met together in May 2019 to discuss the growing problems with aquatic plants and the risk of introducing AIS and decided to try to do something. Two of the lakes have lake associations, but neither was positioned to take on a multi-lake project.

The group reached out to Fish and Waters Conservation Fund. The three homeowners decided to launch a Let’s Save Our Lakes project in partnership with FWCF. They met with a limnology firm suggested by FWCF, and launched a successful fundraising effort administered by FWCF.

Outcomes:

  • FWCF contracted with the limnology firm at the direction of the lake association group to develop a Lake Vegetation Management Plan (“LVMP”) for the four connected lakes.
  • The local group obtained a cost share grant from the watershed district and purchased extra inspection hours at the public access serving all four lakes.
  • The group will apply for and hopes to receive cost share funding from Ramsey County to provide 24/7 electronic inspection coverage at the public access.
  • The Limnology point intercept study was conducted and report issued.
Future efforts:

The group plans to survey homeowners about their concerns, hold a public meeting to share those concerns and explain the LVMP development process. Outreach for potential projects will include the MN DNR, watershed district and Ramsey County experts to help shape a multi-year LVMP aimed at 2020 DNR approval and implementation.

This could not have happened without the FWCF LWAP.