Land of 10,000 Dying Lakes: Designing for Sustainable Water Management Through Wetland Conservation and Public Recreation
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In 2017, 169 harmful algal blooms were reported nation-wide. Existing in all water body types, saltwater or freshwater, this number is increasing every year, and Minnesota is no exception. In the land of 10,000 lakes, 48 different locations have experienced a Harmful Algae Bloom at least once over the last decade. Growing not only in frequency, but also size, the presence of these Cyanobacteria blooms are killing aquatic species, lowering water quality, limiting recreational use, and in some cases producing toxins capable of killing humans and animals that come into contact with the water. Due to global warming, the average temperature of our water bodies continue to rise. This, paired with excessive runoff that is polluted with fertilizers and chemicals, creates a perfect opportunity for these harmful blooms to flourish. This study will focus on a strategy to mitigate the environmental damage caused by nutrient dense runoff through environmental planning. Using geospatial and hydraulic data for the drainage area, in conjunction with varying case studies and wetland research, the result will provide a plan for wetland restoration and future protection, with sustainable runoff management, in a public recreation setting. The final design will seamlessly combine project programming into a re-envisioned runoff management system.