Kettle River Watershed TMDL Phosphorous Reduction Project
The Kettle River is a major tributary in the St. Croix River Basin. It is a State Wild and Scenic River and designated canoe route. Reducing sediment and nutrient pollution to the Kettle will protect water quality within the watershed and will also benefit the St. Croix River and help to address excess nutrient loading in Lake St. Croix. This project is a partnership between Carlton, Pine, Kanabec, and Aitkin SWCDs, with the Carlton SWCD acting as the project administrator.
This project will develop integrated watershed management tools to accelerate on the ground conservation projects. Specifically, GIS data for the watershed will be compiled, analyzed, and processed for use in an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) tool, to help identify sites with high value for conservation practice implementation.
Landowners will be contacted where the remote sensing analysis has identified conservation practice implementation opportunities to evaluate potential projects that will improve water quality in the Kettle River and its tributaries. The targeting analysis and landowner contacts will yield a list of conservation practices in strategically important locations that will be used to develop a watershed action plan for implementation of the identified projects.
The 20-member BWSR board consists of representatives of local and state government agencies and citizens. Members are appointed by the governor of the state of Minnesota consistent with Minnesota Statutes 103B.101. Board members at the time the grant was made were: County Commissioner Appointees: Quentin Fairbanks; Tom Loveall; Brian Napstad; Soil and Water Conservation District Appointees: Paul Langseth, Louise Smallidge and Bob Burandt; Watershed District or Watershed Management Organization Appointees: Gene Tiedemann, LuAnn Tolliver and Todd Foster; Citizen Appointees: Paul Brutlag ; Gerald Van Amburg; John Meyer; Cities & Townships: Sandy Hooker -Township; Christy Jo Fogarty -Metro City; Keith Mykleseth -Non-Metro City; Agency: Chris Elvrum - Minnesota Department of Health; Rebecca Flood - Pollution Control Agency; Tom Landwehr - Department of Natural Resources; Matt Wohlman - Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Faye Sleeper - Minnesota Extension Service;
Wayne Zellmer -BWSR Grants Coordinator; Matt Drewitz -BWSR South Region Clean Water Specialist; Art Persons -MDH Planning Supervisor Drinking Water Protection; Jeff Hrubes -BWSR North Region Clean Water Specialist; Marcey Westrick -BWSR Metro Clean Water Specialist; Julie Westerlund -DNR Clean Water Coordinator; Robert L. Sip -MDA Environmental Policy Specialist; Anna Kerr -MPCA -Stormwater / TMDL Coordinator; Nick Proulx -DNR Central Region Clean Water Legacy Specialist; Karen Evens - MPCA -Watershed Projects Manager; Joshua Stamper -MDA Research Scientist, Pesticide & Fertilizer Management; Norman R. Mofjeld -MDA Hydrologist P.G. Well Management Section;
(b) $3,000,000 the first year and $3,000,000 the second year are for targeted local resource protection and enhancement grants. The board shall give priority consideration to projects and practices that complement, supplement, or exceed current state standards for protection, enhancement, and restoration of water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams or that protect groundwater from degradation. Of this amount, at least $1,500,000 each year is for county SSTS implementation.
GIS data compilation/evaluation. EBI type tool project prioritizing. Outreach development and delivery. Site evals / prelim designs.
The EBI GIS tool was used for analysis in Aitkin, Kanabec and Carlton County. Because Pine County does not have a SSURGO soils layer, it did not have 2 of the 3 EBI layers so alternative GIS analysis methods were used for prioritization in Pine County. Team meetings were held in Sandstone, MN to discuss project. Base EBI maps created for each county and prioritization calculations begun. GIS analysis at subwatershed scale to prioritize for each district. Completed mailings to landowners in each county at top 5% high priority areas, and a tree plating demonstration project to high priority landowner in Carlton County.
The source of additional funds varies from project to project, but generally consists of federal, local and non-public sources.