Sediment Reduction by Failing Structure Removal on Designated Trout Stream
(c) $3,000,000 the first year and $3,000,000 the second year are for nonpoint source pollution reduction and restoration grants to watershed districts, watershed management organizations, counties, and soil and water conservation districts for grants in addition to grants available under paragraphs (a) and (b) to keep water on the land and to protect, enhance, and restore water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams, and to protect groundwater and drinking water. 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. Up to five percent may be used for administering the grants. (2011 - Clean Water Assistance)
The Clean Water Fund will facilitate several phases of addressing all 20 structures. In phase I, a series of three structures on one landowner's property along Elim Creek, a sub watershed of Skunk Creek, will be removed and brook trout habitat restored to a 1/3 mile of prime trout stream on this site.During phase two, the remaining thirteen structures in the Skunk Creek watershed will be assessed by the multi-agency team resulting in an erosion control and habitat restoration plan for Skunk Creek Watershed. Finally, in phase three, engineering plans will be developed for erosion control measures on the three structures in the Deer Creek Watershed.
Surveys of three dam structures were completed. Livestock exclusion Fencing was constructed, stream restoration construction completed, and riparian buffer planted.
The Red Clay Project was a 1970's era project that encompassed watersheds in Northeast Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin draining to Lake Superior. In Minnesota, efforts focused on sediment retention structures in two subwatersheds of the Nemadji River Basin in Carlton County. Sixteen structures were constructed in the Skunk Creek Watershed and four structures were constructed in the Deer Creek Watershed. The design life of these structures was 10-25 years depending on the specific project and the design life has now been exceeded. Three of the four structure sites in the Deer Creek watershed were assessed by a multi-agency team which found failed metal pipes and, in one case, a breached structure. Soil loss from this breached structure site is approximately 8775 tons, and will continue to increase as the channel seeks to stabilize itself. Potential soil loss from 2 other sites where the metal pipes are rusted out is 3,900 tons.