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Lake water quality to be assessed in Becker Co.

The Becker Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in cooperation with Becker County Lakes Association (COLA) have been awarded a two year Surface Water Assessment Monitoring Grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency through the Clean Water Legacy Act.

The amount of the grant is $14,125, and will provide funds to complete a lake data set for 25 Becker County lakes.

"While Becker COLA has conducted lake monitoring in the past many lakes are deficient in lake chemistry data, such as phosphorus and chlorophyll-a," stated SWCD District Administrator Brad Grant.

The project will be coordinated by the Becker SWCD by supporting the COLA and provide funding to the COLA. The monitoring will be done by volunteers who are members of the lake associations on the respective lakes.

Moriya Rufer, Lakes Program Coordinator with RMB Environmental Laboratories of Detroit Lakes, will coordinate all the monitoring, manage the volunteers, and help in training.

"The main reason many of these lakes do not have chemical data is that they are sparsely populated and have small associations; therefore, they have not had the funding for monitoring." Rufer said.

Volunteers will also be enrolled in the MPCA's Citizen Lake-Monitoring Program (CLMP) if they are not already. They will acquire Secchi disks through the CLMP program for use in this monitoring project. They will be instructed to take weekly Secchi readings in their respective lakes and submit transparency data to the CLMP program.

"We're pleased to be able to provide these funds to Becker COLA to expand the data base of our area lakes." added Grant. The project is scheduled to be completed in January of 2010.