Knife River Watershed Protection Project
(a) $13,750,000 the first year and $13,750,000 the second year are for pollution reduction and restoration grants to local government units and joint powers organizations of local government units to protect surface water and drinking water; to keep water on the land; to protect, enhance, and restore water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams; and to protect groundwater and drinking water, including feedlot water quality and subsurface sewage treatment system (SSTS) projects and stream bank, stream channel, and shoreline restoration projects. The projects must be of long-lasting public benefit, include a match, and be consistent with TMDL implementation plans or local water management plans.
This project has resulted in the following pollution reduction estimates: 552 lbs/yr phosphorus, 489 tons/yr sediment (TSS), 868 tons/yr soil loss reduction.
The source of additional funds varies from project to project, but generally consists of federal, local and non-public sources.
The Knife River is a state protected water and a Designated Trout Stream. It is nationally known as a prime fresh-water steelhead fishery and is managed as a cold-water trout fishery for native species including brook trout. The Knife River is characterized by steep gradients, multiple water-falls and cascades, tea-colored water, and remnant old-growth forest cover types including white pine, Norway pine and white cedar.
For all its attributes, the Knife River does not meet water quality standards for sediments and turbidity. This project will restore two severely eroding streambank sites along the river identified as producing the greatest sediment loads of the entire river system.
The benefits from a stable channel in this location include reduced sediment downstream, less sediment pollution into Lake Superior and protection of native riparian plant communities. Toe wood combined with rock stream vanes will decrease bluff erosion and create beneficial fisheries habitat through the introduction of much needed woody debris.
Both project sites will be fully restored and stabilized with state-of-the-art engineering practices that have been successfully implemented on North Shore streams. Once the sites are fully restored, sediment loading to the Knife River will be reducd by 17 percent.
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;