Healthy lake, happy swimmers

A Saturday in June at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis
Ron Trenda | MPR News file

Over the Fourth of July weekend, many Minnesotans will be heading to a lake. Going up to the cabin for the holiday is a summer tradition. And in the Twin Cities, with hot temperatures in the forecast, metro beaches will be crowded. 

But our lakes are facing increasing environmental pressures from development, including runoff from our lawns and soybean fields, more cabins along fragile shorelines, invasive species like zebra mussel — and climate change. 

Host Angela Davis talks with a lake ecologist and MPR’s environmental reporter about how lakes are doing and what property owners and citizens can do to protect them. We also talk about water safety and why boating accidents and drownings are both up this year.


  • Garrett Thomas is a conservation officer in the enforcement division of the Department of Natural Resources

  • Jacques Finlay is professor who studies lake ecology in the department of ecology, evolution and behavior at the University of Minnesota

  • Kirsti Marohn is a reporter out of MPR’s Collegeville bureau who covers central Minnesota, water and the environment

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