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Environmental Water Protection

The Fond du Lac Office of Water Protection includes the staff and programs responsible for protecting the aquatic resources of the Reservation: surface waters (lakes and streams), wetlands, and ground water. The Reservation has been granted “Treatment as an Affected State” authority for administering its water quality program, and has adopted water quality standards with designated uses such as fishing, recreation, cultural and wild rice. Since 1998, we have been monitoring these waters to determine if they are indeed “healthy” and able to support the types of aquatic life that we would expect to see in lakes and streams in northern Minnesota. A Joint Comprehensive Wetland Protection and Management Plan is nearing completion, providing a framework for protecting and conserving these important resources. We are also finalizing a Source Water Protection Plan, laying out the strategy for protecting the Band’s drinking water sources.

In addition, Fond du Lac has conducted research on environmental contaminants such as mercury, lead and PCBs, and analyzed fish from Reservation waters for mercury concentrations, leading to fish consumption guidelines. We have identified restoration projects, such as improving stream crossings and enhancing wild rice production in Wild Rice Lake. We are beginning a nonpoint source management program for the Reservation, and working on a cooperative wastewater management project for the Big Lake community. All of these projects and plans are designed to protect and restore the waters of the Reservation for generations to come.

Jolicouer Creek Restoration Project

The Fond du Lac Environmental Program completed a preliminary survey and assessment in preparation for doing a restoration project on Jolicouer Creek, a tributary to Otter Creek. We have grant funding in place to now complete the engineering designs and construct the stream restoration over the next two years.

Geomorphic Report for Jolicoeur Creek

Nonpoint Source Pollution Assessment and Management

Nonpoint source pollution refers to diffuse sources of pollution, such as rainwater that runs off a parking lot, or pollutants that are transported in rainfall. Fond du Lac Office of Water Protection completed a comprehensive assessment of all water bodies on the Reservation and proposed actions for places impacted by nonpoint source pollution.

2021 Nonpoint Source Pollution Assessment and Management Report
2021 Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Plan

The Value of Nature's Benefits in the St. Louis River Watershed

The Fond du Lac Environmental Program contracted with Earth Economics to do an analysis of the “value” of a healthy St. Louis River watershed. The final report can be seen by clicking below, along with several fact sheets associated with the project.
St. Louis River Watershed Report
St. Louis River Project Factsheets

For more information contact:
Nancy Schuldt
Water Projects Coordinator
Fond du Lac Environmental Program
1720 Big Lake Road
Cloquet, MN 55720
Phone: (218) 878-7110
Email Link