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DU, Iowa DNR celebrate the Diamond Lake project

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Lake recovers after years of poor water quality

Dedication of Diamond Lake project

DU major donors that supported the Diamond Lake: Dan and Diana Bartlett, Larry and Jean Braby, Greg J. Currell, Dave Haggard, Barry and Linda Hanson, Keith and JoAnne Helland, Michael Heller, Tim and Ann Hoerichs, Tom and Katie Howe, Shane and Christa Kendall, Mike and Carol Locke, Brian and Sherrie McLoud, Richard Meyer, Steve and Michelle Rourke.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa, Sept. 16, 2009 – Diamond Lake is returning to its former glory thanks to renovations conducted and supported by conservation partners in Iowa including area residents, Ducks Unlimited and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Located in Dickinson County, Diamond Lake is a 166-acre shallow lake in the heart of Iowa’s Great Lakes Region. Restoration activities included installing a new water control structure, outlet pipe and protective fish barrier.

“Diamond Lake represents DU’s inaugural Living Lakes project in Iowa and will provide critical habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds that travel though the state each fall and spring,” said Eric Lindstrom DU regional biologist. “The success of this project is a true testament to the commitment and dedication of a diverse group of partners that banded together to achieve a common goal of improving this shallow lake.”  
 
Poor water quality and invasive rough fish problems limited wildlife use on Diamond Lake. Following the renovations, DNR managers were able to drawdown the lake in 2007 and 2008 and eradicate the rough fish. This spring, the DNR started to bring the lake water levels back up and recent lake monitoring has shown an eight-fold increase in the number and diversity of aquatic plant species. Water clarity has also improved dramatically from less than six inches pre-renovation to over three feet post-renovation. Improved water quality will allow aquatic plants and wildlife to thrive.

In July, DU and the DNR held a dedication ceremony to celebrate the success of the project and to recognize the many supporters that made these efforts possible. DU major donors contributed over $50,000 towards the restoration efforts and were honored by a cairn and plaque placed on the property. 

Funding and support for this project was generously provided by the Iowa DNR Wildlife and Fisheries Bureaus and Lake Restoration Program, North American Wetlands Conservation Council, The McKnight Foundation and several DU major donors. 

For more information about DU’s Living Lakes Initiative visit: www.ducks.org/livinglakes or the Iowa DNR’s shallow lakes restoration program visit: http://www.iowadnr.gov/video/shallowlakes_h.html

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization and has conserved more than 12 million acres. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands – nature's most productive ecosystem – and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres important to waterfowl each year.

Jennifer P. Kross    jkross@ducks.org    701.202.8896
Becky Jones Mahlum    bjonesmahlum@ducks.org    701.355.3507

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