The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Special Studies: M.S.


Environmental and Technological Studies


College of Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Mitch Bender

Second Advisor

Charles Rose

Third Advisor

David Robinson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Land use practices and the lack of knowledge of best management practices (BMPs) by lakeshore property owners often results in degradation of water quality. With the continual growth of structures around property adjacent to bodies of water, there is a decrease in native habitat that protects these waters from runoff containing pollution. There is a need for better understanding of what influences implementation of BMPs by property owners.

Many studies examine how BMPs improve water quality of lakes or streams by; decreasing the amount of runoff, decreasing nutrients entering the waterway, stabilizing banks, and/or decreasing the amount of sediment entering the water. BMPs also increase the amount and quality of natural habitat around the waterway, which ultimately leads to increasing populations of wildlife. Most BMPs can also be visually appealing to property owners. Over time, improvement through BMPs increases water quality and natural habitat around bodies of water such as Little Birch Lake, in central Minnesota. There needs to be a better understanding of how to get property owners to implement BMPs.

A letter along with a short survey was mailed out to each property owner on Little Birch Lake. The results of this survey will help better understand property owner’s knowledge about BMPs and how their implemented BMPs can impact water quality.


I would like to thank everyone who helped me complete this thesis project, including my committee members (David Robinson and Chuck Rose), pre-survey takers and evaluators, the SCSU School of Graduate Studies, and Ann Anderson. I would also like to thank my family for their time and patience from the beginning of the project until the thesis was completed. A special thank you to Mitch Bender for all his work in helping me complete my Thesis to earn my Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies.