Saturday 20 September 2014
 

DNR leader: Investment in lake is paying off

 

    You’re a role model, Clear Lake.
    That was the message Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Roger Lande brought to the Association for the Preservation of Clear Lake’s annual picnic.  Speaking to about 70 persons gathered in

an open tent at Clear Lake State Park Friday night, with Clear Lake bustling with fishing and boating activities in the background, Lande offered the APCL and community a sincere thank you for the support given to lake restoration efforts.
    “Thank you, Clear Lake, for your support and investment in CLEAR (Clear Lake Enhancement and Restoration project) and work at Ventura Marsh.  The beach cleaner (recently purchased by APCL and given to the DNR for operation at the lake’s three beaches) is also a marvelous improvement,” said Lande.  “Thank you for everything you’ve done for this lake and the economics of the area.”  Saying the average visitor to Clear Lake spends a couple hundred dollars, he called the lake, “an enormous economic engine.”
    A Lake Valuation Study started in 2002 typically had Clear Lake finishing second or third in the rankings of how much money is generated by visitors to the state’s lakes.  In 2009, Clear Lake moved to the top of the list, with an estimated $15 million spent here per year by guests.
    Lande credited the APCL for taking the lead and said the state considers the community a role model for other areas looking to the state to help them rehabilitate their lakes and watersheds.  He noted that Clear Lake was the first lake in Iowa to embark on such an extensive restoration project.  “It takes someone to lead, and I thank you all for doing that for Clear Lake,” he added.
    DNR Program Manager Mike McGhee echoed Lande’s comments, saying “We’re using Clear Lake as an example of local leadership and support getting things done.”
    McGhee provided an update on work at Ventura Marsh, which he said was on target for completion this fall.  After water is drawn down, the Carp population will be eliminated and aquatic vegetation will be re-established.  Dredging will create a water flow which will not only deepen, but re-meander the water so that it will spend more time in the marsh before draining into Clear Lake.  More time in the marsh will lower phosphorus levels in the- Read More Via e-Edition