Watershed District names conservation winners
Published 9:46 am Monday, March 14, 2016
Each year the Shell Rock River Watershed District awards rural and urban conservationists who have helped preserve and improve natural resources within the District. This year’s rural and urban conservationists were named Thursday at the SRRWD’s annual meeting. The recipient of the Urban Conservationist Award is the Tracy (Doug) Vandegrift Family and Urban Conservationist recipient is The Pelican Breeze II.
The Tracy (Doug) Vandegrift family was essential for the successful completion of the Wedge Creek Stream Restoration Project. The Vandegrift family allowed access for personnel and critical staging areas for equipment during the construction period. The Wedge Creek Stream Restoration Project was designed to reduce stream bank erosion and sedimentation, reconnect streams to its floodplains, and to increase habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms. The restoration efforts were crucial in stopping excess sediment and nutrients from entering Fountain Lake.
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The Urban Conservationist, the Pelican Breeze II, is a 60 foot riverboat replica that is iconic to Albert Lea Lake. The boat tours Albert Lea Lake during the summer months and educates passengers about the lake’s history and the improving water quality. The captain and numerous volunteers are great partners with the SRRWD.
District Administrator Brett Behnke said, “The District truly appreciates the hard work by the Pelican Breeze crew and the dedication they have to highlighting one of Albert Lea’s prized lakes.”
“The support from the two recipients should not go unnoticed. This year’s winners deserve all the credit we can give them. They continue to make important progress, all while inspiring current and future conservationist” Behnke said. “The award winners truly express the district’s mission of working together to improve water quality.”