Mississippi River Central Minnesota Conservation Planning

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$87,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$88,000
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Recipient
Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District
Recipient Type
Local/Regional Government
Status
Completed
Start Date
July 2011
End Date
June 2014
Activity Type
Assessment/Evaluation
Education/Outreach/Engagement
Planning
Technical Assistance
Counties Affected
Benton
Stearns
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 2, Art.3, Sec. 2, Subd. 03n
Appropriation Language

$87,000 the first year and $88,000 the second year are from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District to develop and adopt river protection strategies in cooperation with local jurisdictions in the communities of the 26 miles of the Mississippi River between Benton and Stearns Counties. This appropriation must be matched by $175,000 of nonstate cash or qualifying in-kind funds.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$87,000
Direct expenses
$87,000
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.05
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 2, Art.3, Sec. 2, Subd. 03n
Appropriation Language

$87,000 the first year and $88,000 the second year are from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District to develop and adopt river protection strategies in cooperation with local jurisdictions in the communities of the 26 miles of the Mississippi River between Benton and Stearns Counties. This appropriation must be matched by $175,000 of nonstate cash or qualifying in-kind funds.

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$88,000
Direct expenses
$88,000
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.04
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Project Overview

PROJECT OVERVIEW
From its headwaters to the Twin Cities, the Mississippi River has benefited from coordinated management plans and community efforts to protect its water quality and shoreland habitat - except for a 26-mile stretch in central Minnesota. Starting in St. Cloud and stretching north through Stearns and Benton counties, the stretch is governed by 11 different jurisdictions and the communities have no uniform land use controls to protect this shared resource despite population growth and development pressure threatening the health of the river. Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District is using this appropriation to coordinate an effort between these 11 different local governments to develop and implement specific river protection policies and work with landowners along the river to implement shoreland management practices. Ultimately the effort aims to protect the water quality of the Mississippi River, reduce habitat fragmentation, and prioritize on-the-ground efforts.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
From its Headwaters to the Twin Cities, the Mississippi River has benefited from coordinated management plans and community efforts to protect its water quality and shoreland habitat--except for 26-mile stretch in Central Minnesota. Starting in St. Cloud and stretching north through Stearns and Benton counties, this stretch is governed by 11 different jurisdictions (four cities, five townships and two counties). These communities presently have no uniform land use controls to protect the magnificent river they share. Significant population growth and development pressure and contributing upland pollution could significantly damage the health of the Mississippi River.

This project's goal was to restore and protect the natural resources of the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and reduce habitat fragmentation along its banks in central Minnesota. The project coordinated with local units of government to develop and implement specific river protection policies with limited success. Individual landowners were contacted to implement sound shoreland and upland management practices. Also, in conjunction with this project a portion of the Sauk watershed was selected as part of the USDA NRCS Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) to reduce pollution entering the river and reducing downstream impacts. Over 50,000 acres had conservation practices planned or applied.

Local units of government were offered workshops and technical assistance to implement policies, such as adopting a Natural Resource Overlay District along the river. The City of Sartell was key receiver of this assistance. Also, a major Take a Day OFF (Outdoor Family Fun) event was held to increase the publics' awareness of this wonderful natural resource in their backyard. Over 1000 people attend this event annually.

The public policies and landowner practices implemented has resulted in a healthier Mississippi River today and for decades to come.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District website (www.stearnscountyswcd.net) was used to disseminate information. Other media forms included radio, newspaper, and Facebook were used to increase awareness of activities pertaining to this project.

Project Details
Project Manager
First Name
Dennis
Last Name
Fuchs
Organization Name
Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District
Street Address
Marketplace Mall, 110 2nd Street S, Ste 128
City
Waite Park
State
MN
Zip Code
56387
Phone
(320) 251-7800 x3
Email
dennis.fuchs@mn.nacdnet.net