Building on the success of the Big Island Restoration project, which stabilized shoreline at Orono’s Big Island Park, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) partnered with Three Rivers Park District to restore approximately 1,200 feet of shoreline on Park District land on the north side of Big Island. The project used natural shoreline anchors including large rocks, trees, and plants to reinforce soil at the water’s edge. The project prevents the loss of more shoreline, improves water quality, and provides habitat for waterfowl, fish, and other aquatic life in a popular park area.

Cruiser’s Cove is a popular destination for boaters along the north side of Big Island. Wave action from heavy boat traffic and weather patterns contributed to severe erosion along the shoreline, which resulted in unstable banks that fell into Lake Minnetonka and degraded water quality. By restoring and stabilizing the shoreline, the north side of Big Island is significantly less impacted by wave action.

At a Glance

  • Orono
  • Lake Minnetonka Subwatershed
  • Status: Complete
  • 2014

MCWD Staff Contact

Josh Wolf



Supporting Materials

Project Cost


Project Timeline

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Planning Phase

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Planning Phase

2011 — Initial inspection of shoreline erosion conducted and cooperative agreement reached

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Design Phase

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Design Phase

July 2012 — Design phase begins

November 2012 — Design phase complete

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Construction Phase

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Construction Phase

2013 — Construction begins

2014 — Construction ends

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Project completion

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Project Completion

2014 — Project completed

By the Numbers



of shoreline restored


trees & shrubs




of buckthorn removed

Project Highlights

  • Improved water quality by restoring degraded shoreline
  • Enhanced aquatic and terrestrial vegetation
  • Invasive species removal, including buckthorn
  • Improved and protected critical shoreline habitat

“This project is a great example of two natural resource management organizations sharing resources to improve the quality of Lake Minnetonka and enhance wildlife habitat.” 

John Barten, Natural Resources Director, Three Rivers Park District


MCWD partnered with Three Rivers Park District to restore eroded shoreline along the Big Island Regional Park.

Three Rivers Park District


Project Cost: $283,003

The shoreline restoration costs were split between Three Rivers Park District and MCWD.