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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Public meeting scheduled as review of troubling Lake Coeur d’Alene data begins

A salvage barge is pulling up wreckage on Friday, July 10, 2020 from Lake Coeur d’Alene after a deadly mid-air crash that happened on Sunday.  (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review)

Two public meetings are scheduled next week as an 18-month review of years of water-quality data from Lake Coeur d’Alene gets underway.

The meetings, which will be held over Zoom, will be on Wednesday and Feb. 26.

Wednesday’s meeting will run from 8 a.m. to noon. The Feb. 26 meeting will run from 8 to 11 a.m.

For more information and to register visit

The meetings’ goal, according to a statement sent by the Our Gem Collaborative, is to provide information on the review process, goals of the review, general background on the lake’s issues and a public comment session.

Roughly 75 million metric tons of sediment polluted with lead and other heavy metals sit at the bottom of the lake. Changes in the lake’s chemistry threaten to resuspend those pollutants.

Years of data collected by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and State of Idaho scientists indicate that the lake’s health is worsening. In 2019, Gov. Brad Little ordered a review of that data and in late 2020 and early 2021 the National Academy of Sciences appointed 13 experts to review the data.

Included in that list are several regional academics: James G. Moberly is an associate professor in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at the University of Idaho; Michael T. Brett is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington; Alison C. Cullen is a professor of Environmental Policy at the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance; and James J. Elser is the Bierman Professor of Ecology at the University of Montana.

To see all of the NAS reviewers and read their biographies visit and scroll down.