Sand and Long Lakes are classified by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as shallow lakes. Although both currently meet state water quality standards for shallow lakes, the District has prioritized these waters to ensure they do not degrade over time due to increased phosphorus. The Sand and Long Lake Diagnostic and Implementation Plan, completed in 2013, provides the needed information to reduce pollution flowing into each lake, address biological characteristics (plants and animals) that help keep the lakes clean and stabilize the water quality of the lakes. It outlines how an active watershed and citizen's group can achieve water quality improvement objectives on a voluntary basis. In addition, this study will contribute to existing efforts in the region to develop successful implementation programs for shallow lakes.
The District received a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency that will fund half the cost of the improvements in Sand and Long lakes sub-watersheds.