Blue Earth County Ravine and Stream Stabilization
Ravine, stream bank and bluff erosion contribute significant amounts of sediment to rivers and streams. The MPCA report, Identifying sediment sources in the Minnesota River Basin, found the Blue Earth and Le Sueur watersheds contribute as such as half of the sediment to the Minnesota River, even though they account for only one-fifth of its drainage area. These watersheds contain the majority of the bluffs in the basin as well as many large
Within Blue Earth County there are hundreds of eroding ravines and bluffs along its 368 miles of rivers and streams and 186 miles of unnamed and intermittent streams. Erosion from these areas is a water quality concern as well as a potential threat to dwellings, roadways and infrastructure. Blue Earth County is updating its Hazard Mitigation Plan to include a special risk
assessment of ravine, stream bank and bluff erosion. The ability of local government to address these problems is limited due to the scale, magnitude and complexity of problems and solutions, lack of enough qualified, technical local staff, and lack of financial resources. With technical guidance, a committee, including representatives from affected townships and
municipalities, will work on assessing these risks. Clean Water Funds will be used for preliminary site investigations to support prioritization and categorization of problem areas and final design of at least five ravine and bluff stabilization projects to reduce erosion and provide ecological benefits.
(g) $2,330,000 the first year and $1,830,000 the second year are for grants to implement stream bank, stream channel, and shoreline protection, and restoration projects to protect water quality. Of this amount, $330,000 the first year and $330,000 the second year may be used for technical assistance and grants to establish a conservation drainage program in consultation with the Board of Water and Soil Resources and the Drainage Work Group that consists of pilot projects to retrofit existing drainage systems with water quality improvement practices, evaluate outcomes, and provide outreach to landowners, public drainage authorities, drainage engineers and contractors, and others. Of this amount, $500,000 the first year is for a grant to Hennepin County for riparian restoration and stream bank stabilization in the ten primary stream systems in Hennepin County in order to protect, enhance, and help restore the water quality of the streams and downstream receiving waters. The county shall work with watershed districts and water management organizations to identify and prioritize projects. To the extent possible, the county shall employ youth through the Minnesota Conservation Corps and Tree Trust to plant trees and shrubs to reduce erosion and stabilize stream banks. This appropriation must be matched by nonstate sources, including in-kind contributions (2010 - Shoreland Improvement)
Clean Water Funds will be used for preliminary site investigations to support prioritization and categorization of problem areas and final design of at least five ravine and bluff stabilization projects to reduce erosion and provide ecological benefits.
This project has yielded an estimated phosphorus reduction of 147 lbs/yr and sediment reduction of 103 tons/yr.