Sand Creek Watershed TMDL/Targeted BMP Installations
(b) $16,000,000 the first year and $16,000,000 the second year are for grants to local
government units to protect and restore 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 projects and stream
bank, stream channel, shoreline restoration, and ravine stabilization projects. The projects must use practices demonstrated to be effective, be of long-lasting public benefit, include a match, and be consistent with total maximum daily load (TMDL) implementation plans, watershed restoration and protection strategies (WRAPS), or local water management plans or their equivalents. A portion of this money may be used to seek administrative efficiencies through shared resources by multiple local governmental units. Up to 20 percent of this appropriation is available for land-treatment projects and practices that benefit drinking water. (Projects and Practices 2020)
At least 20 projects will be implemented, annually reducing TSS by 229 Tons, TP by 254 lbs and runoff by 26 ac-ft. TSS (70% derived from near channel sources) and TP are root causes to water quality and biological impairments in Sand Creek.
LOCAL LEVERAGED FUNDS
This project continues a long-term commitment by Scott SWCD in partnership with the Scott WMO to address impairments in Sand Creek Watershed, and by extension Minnesota R. It builds on the success of the WMOs FY15 CWF Targeted Watershed Grant and 4 other CWF grants since 2010. Specifically, this project will enable 20 additional targeted practices to be installed yielding significant watershed load reductions including 2290 Tons of TSS and 2540 lbs of TP over 10 yrs. Practices to be installed-including cover crops, native perennial cover, wetland restoration, waterways, and water and sediment control basins-will also reduce runoff volumes (260 ac-ft) which numerous studies show is key to reducing near-channel erosion, a major source of TSS. Two-thirds of the projects in this proposal have already been designed and are ready to install.
Sand Creek is the last major tributary to the Minnesota River before it converges with the Mississippi 36 miles downstream, and has one of the highest sediment load yields (>200 lbs/ac) of the 10-digit watersheds in the Lower MN River watershed. Numerous local and state studies and reports, including the 2019 draft Lower MN River WRAPS report, have identified the root cause of impairments to Sand Creek, its tributaries and lakes, and the BMP's needed to address them. This project will enable implementation of these BMP's in a prioritized and targeted approach to achieve measurable pollution reduction benefits as enumerated in this application, consistent with the WRAPS report, the Scott WMO Water Plan, and Scott SWCD Comp. Plan.
The results of past similar efforts, when applied as part of an overall comprehensive program of soil and water management, have had a positive, measurable impact as evidenced by scientific data showing improved water quality and reduced runoff in the Sand Creek Watershed. This application presents these details, and if awarded, will ensure continuation of a nonpoint source pollution success story.