The lovely waters of the Coeur d’Alene Basin flow from steep mountain-tops to meandering valleys. As such they are some of the region’s most treasured natural resources. Residents and visitors enjoy thousands of miles of streams and nearly 100 square miles of lakes in the Basin for fishing, boating, floating, and watching the sunset. Water is also a source of clean drinking water as well as home to an abundance of aquatic life–plants, insects, amphibians, fish, and more.
The historic releases of mine waste contamination led to impaired water quality in many lakes and streams. In those areas, the amounts of dissolved lead, zinc, and other metals are higher than what is healthy for aquatic life. Other water quality concerns in the Basin include areas with excessive sediment, temperature, or bacteria. Fortunately, most of the Basin’s waters support a wide range of beneficial uses and are wonderful for swimming and fishing.
If you would like to share your views about restoration and how it relates to water quality, or would like to propose a restoration project regarding water quality, please click here.