Looking good, LaVerne

Lake LaVerne with Memorial Union

Mother Nature pitched in to (temporarily) help clear up the algae bloom in Lake LaVerne. Cooler temperatures and an influx of fresh water from a rainy May gave the lake an aesthetic boost. Facilities planning and management crews and student volunteers worked this spring to remove an unusually early filamentous algae bloom sparked by warm, dry weather. The algae will reappear once temperatures rise and rainfall decreases.

Vegetated floating island on Lake LaVerne.

Vegetated floating island on Lake LaVerne. Photos by Christopher Gannon.

A research team launched its first of three floating islands, pictured right, on the lake in May. The vegetated structures -- designed by faculty and graduate students -- pull contaminants and pollutants from the water and provide habitat for birds, insects and aquatic wildlife, whatever the weather.

The interdisciplinary pilot project is a partnership with the Story Soil and Water Conservation District, and received a grant from the Iowa Watershed Improvement Review Board. The remaining two floating islands should be launched this week.