Regardless of the purpose for the project, monitoring is vital to the success of the project. Monitoring can identify needed mid-course adjustments and identify additional actions. It can also provide valuable information for future restoration efforts. This practice is known as adaptive management. The goals of restoration projects should be to create healthy and balanced waterbodies with minimal disturbance to the natural environment. Here are some important factors to consider when considering a lake restoration project.
A large number of lakes worldwide have degraded due to a variety of factors, including nutrient buildup, siltation, and toxic contaminants. Of these problems, eutrophication is the most common and studied, which means more restoration techniques are available for this particular problem than for others. As the result, the most desirable method for overall lake management is dredging. The process of dredging removes contaminated sediments and maintains water levels, reducing the likelihood of a lake breaking up or having a decreased fish population.
Biological products such as bacteria can improve waterbodies' quality. These products can be used to speed up waterbody processes and increase the number of beneficial bacteria in ponds. Large lakes or ponds can be difficult to treat with these products. The area of the pond and its acre-footage will determine the amount of bacteria present in the waterbody. Healthy water bodies have the right mix of enzymes and bacteria.
The Great Lakes ecosystem's vital importance is paramount, and it must be conserved as much as possible in order to sustain its health. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (USA) was established to help address legacy pollution, restore habitats as well as fight invasive species and protect wildlife. The initiative not only provides funding but encourages accountability as well as public outreach. Visit their website for more information about the GLRI.
Scientists are also studying the impact of climate change on lake ecosystems. Climate change can lead to changes in the air temperature and precipitation patterns that may increase eutrophication. Increasing DOC concentrations can also cause nonlinear changes in water column biogeochemistry, temperature, and other variables. These responses can easily be captured using numerical models. A computer model, for example, can be used to predict how effective a certain restoration technique will be.
Although it's easy for people to assume that lake cleanup and restoration are impossible, in reality they can be very successful. MPR news recently examined the outcomes and process of two Minnesota water cleanup projects. One was conducted in northeastern Minnesota's farmland, and the other was done in the town of First Fulda in the south. The water quality in the U.S.'s northern lakes is usually clean and clear, but the water from the south has a pea-soupy taste due to the presence of dead bullheads as well as excess nutrients. First Fulda Lake was saved in southwest Minnesota by a community effort.
Lake restoration follows the same philosophy as painting. It is based on the principles of harmony, taste, and fidelity. There are many ways to restore lakes, but a contractor may not use the Xie He standard. Restoration requires knowledge, skill and understanding of the subject. The long-term economics of resources must be considered when choosing the best lake restoration practices.