As part of Governor Little’s Leading Idaho initiative, he directed $2 million to be spent on near-term projects that reduce phosphorus and improve water quality in Coeur d’Alene Lake in 2021.
In 2022, $31 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 has been allocated for phosphorus reduction projects to further this effort. Funding will be allocated from 2022 through 2026.
Coeur d'Alene Lake Advisory Committee
Governor Little established the Coeur d’Alene Lake Advisory Committee, which works with the Panhandle Basin Advisory Group to prioritize projects eligible for Leading Idaho 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.
Mica Creek Floodplain Access Improvement Project
An additional project was awarded in 2023 to the Kootenai Shoshone Soil and Water Conservation District on Mica Creek to restore floodplain access to the creek on private land during high-water events. This project was awarded $56,512 of Leading Idaho funds
East Sherman Stormwater Outfall Volume Reduction
The city of Coeur d’Alene is installing stormwater storage and filtration to divert stormwater runoff from an existing outfall. The city was awarded $190,000 from Governor Little’s Leading Idaho initiative for the outfall project at East Sherman Avenue.
Kellogg Stormwater – Outstanding Areas
The city of Kellogg is assessing stormwater management where the system components are not well documented and will install improvements to the city’s stormwater outfalls in these areas using the most cost-effective technologies. The city was awarded $1,000,000 from Governor Little’s Leading Idaho initiative to identify and implement needed improvements.
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Lake Management Plan Supervisor