In both urban and rural areas, water flows over streets, sidewalks, and fields into streams, ditches, and storm drains. As the water flows it picks up trash and pollutants and carries them, untreated, directly to the nearest lake or river. This is runoff pollution. Everyone who lives in the Chisago Lakes Chain of Lakes Watershed is impacted by and benefits from the presence of the lakes. Everyone in the Watershed has an effect on lake water quality.
Over time, many lakes and streams within the Watershed have become degraded. Degradation of our waters is harmful to fish habitat and negatively impacts recreational value by making swimming, boating and living near the lakes less desirable.
North & South Center, Linn, Little, Ogren, Pioneer, School, and Wallmark Lakes are impaired, meaning these lakes do not meet water quality standards established by the State of Minnesota for lakes in this area. Chisago Lakes Chain of Lakes Watershed impaired waters map
The Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District, with partial funding provided by the Chisago Lakes Lake Improvement District, is installing projects throughout the Chisago Lakes Chain of Lakes Watershed that improve the quality of water entering area lakes and streams.