The South Shore of Lake Bemidji was historically used for logging, sawmill operations and hardboard manufacturing and after operations ceased, significant wood debris was left behind. Material ranging in size from sawdust to planks and logs were left in the lake and scattered along the shoreline. In addition, contaminated soil and sediment were present beneath the wood debris and on shore. The City of Bemidji set out to restore the beach to native conditions for use as a public beach and ecological restoration.
Landmark teamed with Anderson Engineering to prepare design and bidding documents for construction, assist with acquiring Clean Water Land and Legacy Act funding, and oversee construction, as well as prepare reports and coordinate approvals with several regulatory agencies.
An inflatable temporary cofferdam was constructed across the 5 acre area, and a 400 well-point dewatering system and large capacity pumps were installed to dewater 30 million gallons along the South Shore of Lake Bemidji and discharged back into the lake over a five-day period. A total of 9,100 tons of wood debris and 1,100 tons of contaminated sediment and soil were removed from the lake and shoreline. Clean sand was placed back in the lake and the cofferdam was removed allowing the water to flow back into the area. The shoreline was restored with native plants to enhance aquatic habitat, and the City constructed a new sand beach and restored park building, which has made the South Shore of Lake Bemidji into a valued community asset!