Mustinka River Turbidity TMDL Implementation
The Mustinka River winds through five counties in west central Minnesota and empties into Lake Traverse, a border waters lake with excellent fishing and recreational opportunities. For several years, sections of the river have been impaired for turbidity due to too much soil/sediment eroding from the land and washing away into the water. Excess sediment degrades aquatic habitat
and feeds algae blooms.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts from all five counties in the Mustinka River watershed have collaborated on a plan to reduce the amount of sediment washed into the river with a grant from the Clean Water Fund. The goal of the project is to promote and assist landowners with contracts to install Best Management Practices such as: planting strips of native grasses, restoring
drained wetlands, and building small structures that keep sediment on the farmland. Work will begin on the project in the spring of 2011.
The grass strips, wetland restorations, and earthen structures will work directly to keep soil in farm fields where it belongs, and out of the water. All projects will have a cumulative effect towards reducing the amount of sediment in the water. This project will keep about 15,625 tons of soil out of the water each year. That's about 6 percent of the total amount of soil reduction that is needed to clean up the river.
(b) $2,800,000 the first year and $3,124,000 the second year are for grants to watershed districts and watershed management organizations for: (i) structural or vegetative management practices that reduce storm water runoff from developed or disturbed lands to reduce the movement of sediment, nutrients, and pollutants or to leverage federal funds for restoration, protection, or enhancement of water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams and to protect groundwater and drinking water; and (ii) the installation of proven and effective water retention practices including, but not limited to, rain gardens and other vegetated infiltration basins and sediment control basins in order to keep water on the land. The projects must be of long-lasting public benefit, include a local match, and be consistent with TMDL implementation plans or local water management plans. Watershed district and watershed management organization staff and administration may be used for local match. Priority may be given to school projects that can be used to demonstrate water retention practices. Up to five percent may be used for administering the grants. (2011 - Runoff Reduction)
This project will keep about 15,625 tons of soil out of the water each year. That's about 6 percent of the total amount of soil reduction that is needed to clean up the river.
2,403.8 Acres of CRP buffers and wetlands; 220 Acres of No-Till Farming; one rain garden; and three water and sediment control basins. As a result, these practices will reduce the amount of sediment by an estimated total of 43,290 tons annually and the amount of phosphorus by 43,290 pounds annually.