When you go to a boat launch for a day on the lake, you generally expect to find a good ramp to back down to get your boat easily in and out, and a place to park your vehicle and trailer. Do you ever wonder how the boat launch was constructed? Who built it, and who maintains it? Did the builders consider stormwater runoff and water quality effects on this lake? Thankfully, Minnesota Power (an Allete Company) and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources did consider those kinds of questions when they recently rebuilt the popular Abbott Road boat launch on Island Lake, about 20 miles north of Duluth.
The project includes a number of features that were not required in its construction stormwater permit, but were installed to minimize potential pollution to the lake from the heavy use of this popular boat landing.
- A complete regrading of the site to direct drainage away from the lake and into vegetated filtration basins prior to discharge.
- A dedicated aquatic invasive species cleanout area with its own infiltration basin.
- A wood timber skimmer at the outlet of the final infiltration basin prior to discharge into the lake. This skimmer traps any trash or floating debris for removal.
- A trench drain to intercept parking lot runoff down the ramp grade to the lake, which is directed to filtration basins.
This $375,000 project was completed in June 2018, with some more erosion controls added in August. For going above and beyond their construction stormwater permit requirements, the MPCA thanks Minnesota Power and Minnesota DNR for not only rebuilding and beautifying this popular boat landing, but also enhancing the long-term water quality of Island Lake.