Despite drought, water quality steady in 2007
If you’re looking to take a dip in Lake Calhoun or Lake Harriet this summer, have at it.
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District’s lake-monitoring program released its grades for 2007, and it appears little has changed from 2006.
Lake Calhoun dropped to an A- from an A, while Lake Harriet rose to an A- from a B+. The Lake of the Isles held steady at a C. Grades are based on water clarity, nutrient levels and algae growth during the open water season, according to a news release from the district.
Because of below-average rainfall around this time last year, the results came as a surprise to Uadi Singh, the district’s water quality specialist.
“Typically, we would expect water quality … to go down in a drought-type situation,” Singh said in the release. But that wasn’t the case this year, a fact he said could be linked to “unprecedented rainfall” during August and
Lakes in the A grade range have clear water and are suitable for recreational activities; B-quality lakes are considered good for recreational use but could suffer from algae growth before the end of the season. Lakes stamped with an F have severe algae problems and aren’t recommended for recreational use.
For grades dating back to 1998, go to www.minnehahacreek.org/wq_report_cards.php.
Public input sought on stormwater-pollution prevention program
The Hennepin County Transportation Department wants to hear from the public on its stormwater-pollution prevention program.
An informal public meeting is set for 5–6:30 p.m. May 27 at the county’s Public Works Facility, 1600 Prairie Drive, Medina.
According to a news release, the county is seeking comment on the effectiveness of the program, which is nationally required to ensure minimized discharge of pollutants from the county’s storm sewer system.
For a look at the program, go to www.hennepin.us, call 596-0300 or go to the County Board Clerk’s office at the Government Center, 300 S. 6th St.
Green Carpet Film Festival looking for video entrants
Linden Hills Power and Light is hoping to combine the glamour of film with the love of the environment with a Green Carpet Film Festival. And here’s the best part: They’re not looking to Hollywood for their videos — they want them from the public.
To get people involved, the group has created a contest wherein entrants could walk away with as much as $500. Here are a few basic rules:
Submissions should promote the Minnesota Energy Challenge, focus on the benefits of recycling organic material or discuss anaerobic digestion.
The videos should be between 30 seconds and two minutes in length.
If the video focuses on the Energy Challenge — which can be signed up for at mnenergychallenge.com — use the video to say how much energy you saved.
Don’t use any copyrighted material; it all has to be entirely original.
Entries are due by Sept. 1 and will be judged by WCCO anchors Amelia Santaniello and Frank Vascellaro, Southwest Journal editor Sarah McKenzie and explorer/environmentalist Will Steger. Winners will have their videos posted on YouTube and on the websites of Linden Hills Power and Light and the Southwest Journal.
Power and Light’s Tom Braun said the group still is working to lock down a venue but that the festival will be held sometime in the early fall, most likely in September.
Complete rules and entry forms can be found at lhpowerandlight.com or by calling 285-6557.
Police introduce zero-gas-emission vehicles
At a May 6 news conference, the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) introduced a new way for its officers to get around: clean-energy personal vehicles.
The three-wheeled scooter look-alikes, which cost about $10,000 each, can be used indoors and outdoors, MPD 1st Precinct Insp. Janeé Harteau said at the conference. The Department already has two and is looking to secure four more.
According to manufacturer T3 Motion’s website, the vehicles are simple to control, can travel as fast as 25 mph and, because riders are elevated about 9 inches off the ground, allow extra visibility in crowds.
They’re also energy-efficient: The T3 Motion website said the vehicles can be charged in three to four hours and are equipped with LED (light-emitting diode) lighting. The daily cost to operate, according to the site, is less than 10 cents.
Reach Cristof Traudes at firstname.lastname@example.org