Impacts on Urban Lakes and Streams

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Urban lake

Led by: Jacques Finlay and Chip Small

Urban lakes are important recreational and aesthetic assets in MSP. However, the water quality of urban lakes is often impaired because of high inputs of heavily polluted stormwater runoff from the surrounding landscape. High levels of nutrient pollutants lead to excessive growth of algae, with cascading effects on the entire lake ecosystem, complicating efforts to manage urban lakes to improve water quality. We are analyzing existing and new water quality data and developing new computer models to better understand how urban land use, stormwater management, and climate change are interacting to influence nutrient inputs and their impacts on lakes and streams.