St. Croix River Escarpment Gully Inventory and Outreach
This project will inventory active gully erosion sites along the St. Croix River escarpment from the entrance to Wild River State Park near Almelund, MN, and south to the Chisago County line. The resulting inventory will be utilized to contact landowners with actively eroding gully sites on their property and will begin the process of developing a plan to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to correct the problems.
This project is important for several reasons. First, identifying gully sites and implementing BMPs to stop active erosion will reduce phosphorus loading to the St. Croix River by hundreds of pounds per year. Water will be collected and infiltrated on-site, which will drastically reduce the amount of phosphorus and sediment entering the St. Croix River.
In addition, the St. Croix escarpment is home to many rare and native species. The continued erosion of this area causes degradation to the habitat of these species. By stabilizing the area, the rare and native plant and animal species will continue to thrive in their natural environment. The St. Croix River itself is also home to rare species, including native mussels. These organisms will benefit from the reduction in phosphorus and sediment reaching the St. Croix River.
(i) $1,250,000 the first year and $1,500,000 the second year are for targeted nonpoint restoration technical assistance and engineering. At least 93 percent of this amount must be made available for grants. (2011 - Restoration Technical Assistance)
The resulting inventory will be utilized to contact landowners with actively eroding gully sites on their property and will begin the process of developing a plan to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to correct the problems.
Throughout the 15 mile escarpment length, 618 gullies were identified as possibly eroding. Of these, 494 were field checked and 112 were identified as actively eroding. The top 36 most severely eroding gullies were marked as the highest priority to receive future funding.