You have no doubt seen not only the increase in boat traffic on Minnesota’s lakes, but the increase in the size, power and speed of the new boats on our lakes.
You may have also seen a decline in boating safety. A decline in common curtesy on the lakes. A decline in water quality.
But maybe you have not seen the damage the wakes from some of these more powerful watercraft are doing to the lakes, or the destruction of aquatic plants or the churning and reanimation of lake sediments raised by the underwater whirlpools from boat propellors. This adds phosphorus to the water column, a driver of algae, including toxic blue green algae.
I am writing to you today to invite you to support research into the impacts of these new, more powerful watercraft on lake ecosystems.
In 2019, MLR, with a broad base of partners, MLR helped fundraise in support of a research project at St. Anthony Falls Lab, SAFL in Minneapolis, the oldest fluid dynamics research facility in the United States.
The first phase of the SAFL research was into wake energy and dynamics was published in February to international attention and fanfare. Many places around the world are seeing boating-related impacts to freshwater ecosystems, and an unbiased understanding of wakes and prop-thrust impacts is critically important so boaters know best practices and resource managers can develop mitigation and rules to protect freshwater resources.
With the best science-driven understanding of the wake and prop thrust impacts of watercraft, we can generate best practices for boaters and continue to enjoy our lakes in many ways for years to come.
Together, Minnesota lakes and rivers advocates are not only protecting Minnesota’s lakes, but helping to protect freshwater resources around the globe. We recognize that science is the best tool for developing strategies to protect our resources, our economies and our way of life.
Your support of the SAFL research will have a direct benefit to your ability to enjoy the lake you love.
I hope you are all enjoying your time “at the lake” and building memories among family and friends that will last a lifetime.
As always, please stay in touch,