Sand Creek & Prior Lake Spring Lake Wetland Restoration
This goal of this project is improving water quality and expanding critical wildlife habitat by permanently restoring and enhancing wetlands in the Sand Creek and Prior/Spring Lake Watersheds. By making sign-up payments available through this grant, this project will restore or enhance 400 to 500 acres of wetlands moderating flows and improving water quality. The NRCS has committed $2.5 million through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP), the Scott WMO $314,000, the PLSLWD $145,000, Rice SWCD $40,000, Le Sueur SWCD $40,000, and the Scott SWCD $75,000. Additional leveraged dollars are expected from landowners and a USEPA 319 grant.
Clean Water Funds together with match from the Scott SWCD and USEPA 319 grant funds will be used to offer a bonus for early enrollment. The goal is to get 60% of the sign-ups in the first two years of the project. The early bonus is $600 to $800 per cropped acre. This makes the program competitive, and similar to the RIM/WREP program where land owners are paid for a perpetual easement and then also receive additional funds to compensate for continuing tax liability and the loss of production. The bonus will be offered the first two years to correspond with the CWF funding cycle.
(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)
The goal is to get 60% of the sign -ups in the first two years of the project.
Eleven BMPs were installed (Restoration and Management of Declining Habitats) impacting 86.4 acres and resulting in an estimated reduction of 174.55 lbs/yr of phosphorus.