The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) has updated its rules, including Rule F: Shoreline Protection. To better promote water quality within the MCWD, this rule will promote natural landscaping and stabilization along shorelines to a greater degree than the previous rule. The Lake Minnetonka Shoreline Restoration Project complements this change by classifying the shoreline around the lake according to its likelihood to erode, and by creating five demonstration sites of natural stabilization (bioengineering) to show homeowners and contractors how to work with a variety of shoreline conditions. The first demonstration site was completed in 2005 at the headwaters of Minnehaha Creek at Grays Bay. The remaining four sites were stabilized during the summer of 2009.
The headwaters of Long Lake Creek is the discharge from a concrete weir at the outlet from Long Lake in the city of Long Lake. From there it flows approximately 2.7 miles through wetland and forested areas of Orono to its mouth at Tanager Lake, which discharges to Browns Bay on Lake Minnetonka.
This project was initiated in 1989 by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), with assistance from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) through a Clean Water Partnership (CWP) grant. The overall project framework include: a diagnostic study to characterize and quantify the causes contributing to the decline in water quality in the lake, the development of numerical water quality goals for the lake, and the determination of performance standards for a plan to improve water quality and achieve the desired goals. A Phase II study was also conducted, which evaluated various alternatives for water quality goals set forth in the diagnostic study. These studies were undertaken with the support of the municipalities contributing runoff to Long Lake, assisted by a citizens advisory committee comprised of representatives of local city councils and other interested parties.
Water quality data gathered since the mid 1970s indicates that the water quality of Jennings Bay, located at the northwest end of Lake Minnetonka, is inferior to that of other portions of the lake. Point and non-point source phosphorusloading is the limiting nutrient factor for algae growth.