Governor Little, as part of his Building Idaho’s Future initiative, directed $2 million to be spent on near-term projects that reduce phosphorus and improve water quality in Coeur d’Alene Lake.
Coeur d'Alene Lake Advisory Committee
Governor Little established the Coeur d’Alene Lake Advisory Committee, which work with the Panhandle Basin Advisory Group to prioritize projects eligible for Building Idaho’s Future funding that improves the quality of Coeur d’Alene Lake. DEQ is providing support to this group.
The Coeur d’Alene Basin provides extensive recreation opportunities to Idahoans and visitors alike and the area draws thousands of people from across the world, serving as an economic catalyst for the region.
Historical mining has deposited millions of tons of metals laden sediments to the bottom of the lake. More recent land uses continue to contribute to the addition of excess nutrients, especially phosphorus. Although water quality in the lake has improved in many ways over the last several decades, phosphorus levels have been increasing. It is important that phosphorus levels remain low to keep the metals laden sediments from releasing toxic metals back into Coeur d’Alene Lake’s water column.
In 2019, Governor Brad Little called for a third-party review of lake management activities to evaluate progress and guide future efforts. The National Academy of Sciences was selected and has begun its review.