Over the last two years, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) reviewed water quality data from Coeur d’Alene Lake. This was no small task, as data has been collected on the lake for decades. The NAS assembled a committee composed exclusively of scientists considered experts in their field from across the country. Their charge was to assess water quality and provide possible recommendations to guide future lake management efforts.
Coeur d’Alene Lake has seen a decline in metal concentrations in the decades since enacting environmental regulations. However, increased development has raised concerns that the lake may be at risk of becoming anoxic, or devoid of oxygen, in deeper waters overlying lakebed sediment. In layman’s terms, the NAS looked at data-regarding levels of metals, nutrients and dissolved oxygen from the lake’s water. Their analysis was to determine if water quality trends could result in the release of sediment-bound heavy metals from the lakebed sediment into the lake’s waters and ecosystem.
The Our Gem Collaborative is hosting the event, “In Focus: The Coeur d’Alene Lake Report, presented by the NAS,” from 8 a.m. until noon Nov. 15, 2022, at the Hagadone Event Center, 984-986 S. Floating Green Dr., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814.
Members of NAS will discuss their findings on the health of Coeur d’Alene Lake and governmental organizations will provide comments on the report and their thoughts on moving forward. A panel discussion and question and answer session with the attending public will take place in the last hour.
The public is encouraged to attend and the cost is $10 per person. Register at tinyurl.com/ourgem. If you would like to submit questions prior to the event, please email [email protected]
Sponsors of the event include Spokane River Forum, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.
There was a substantial body of research for the NAS panel to take into consideration as they conducted their analysis before making their recommendations. The National Academy of Sciences report is available at https://nap.nationalacademies.org/catalog/26620/the-future-of-water-quality-in-coeur-dalene-lake. DEQ, EPA, Kootenai County, and the Tribe are reviewing the information and look forward to having conversations with the public throughout the Coeur d’Alene Basin to determine a path forward for managing the lake.
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The Our Gem Coeur d’Alene Lake Collaborative is a team of committed and passionate professionals working to preserve lake health and protect water quality by promoting community awareness of local water resources through education, outreach and stewardship. Our Gem includes local experts from the University of Idaho Community Water Resource Center, Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Kootenai Environmental Alliance, Coeur d’Alene Regional Chamber of Commerce, Kootenai County, and CDA 2030.