Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, working cooperatively with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Little Rock Lake Association, and the Benton Soil and Water Conservation District, and with approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, provided a controlled three-foot drawdown of the Mississippi River and Little Rock Lake from August 1, 2019 through September 15, 2019.
Eagle Creek takes great pride in its facility operations, providing for public and plant safety, environmental and regulatory compliance, and playing a key role as a responsible environmental steward on the rivers where it is permitted to operate. Starting in late 2015, Eagle Creek Sartell Hydro, LLC, a subsidiary of Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Little Rock Lake Association, and the Benton Soil and Water Conservation District to plan the drawdown to address water quality, fish habitat, and shoreline restoration improvement plans in the upstream Mississippi River reach and at Little Rock Lake, located approximately six miles upstream of the Sartell Project. Little Rock Lake has been experiencing algae blooms because of extremely high phosphorus levels and is in the top 4% of the most polluted lakes in the state. It is anticipated that the drawdown will allow native aquatic plants to become established on the shoreline and take up some of the excessive nutrients found in the lake.
More information on the drawdown is available from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: