Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (formerly "Regional Technical Assistance and Statewide Coordination")

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2019 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,549,694
2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,567,393
2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,638,038
2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,624,000
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,591,245
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,750,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,630,000
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,630,000
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,182,500
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$689,000
Fund Source
Clean Water Fund
Status
In Progress
Start Date
July 2009
Activity Type
Assessment/Evaluation
Planning
Preservation
Education/Outreach/Engagement
Analysis/Interpretation
Modeling
Research
Technical Assistance
Restoration/Enhancement
Counties Affected
Statewide
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2017 Regular Session Ch. 91 Art. 2 Sec. 6(d)
Appropriation Language

$1886000 the first year and $1886000 the second year are for developing targeted science-based watershed restoration and protection strategies.

2019 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,549,694
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY19 DNR field staff will continue working with state and local partners in watersheds where Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) are under way. DNR regional staff will continue to provide information and analysis that helps improve watershed assessments and identify effective and lasting restoration and protection strategies. Measurable outcomes will be similar to those for FY18.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2017 Regular Session Ch. 91 Art. 2 Sec. 6(d)
Appropriation Language

$1886000 the first year and $1886000 the second year are for developing targeted science-based watershed restoration and protection strategies.

2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,567,393
Direct expenses
$1,393,491
Administration costs
$220,382
Number of full time equivalents funded
15.3
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY18 the DNR will continue working with state and local partners in watersheds where the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) process is active. DNR regional staff will continue to provide information and analysis that helps improve watershed assessments and identify effective and lasting restoration and protection strategies. Measurable outcomes of this work will be similar to those stated for FY17.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2015 First Special Session Ch. 2 Art. 2 Sec. 6(d)
Appropriation Language

(d) $1940000 the first year and $1940000 the second year are for developing targeted science-based watershed restoration and protection strategies.

2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,638,038
Direct expenses
$1,450,406
Administration costs
$209,455
Number of full time equivalents funded
16.6
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY17 the DNR will continue working with state and local partners to provide information and analysis that helps improve watershed assessments and identify effective and lasting restoration and protection strategies. Numeric measures of this work will be similar to the outcomes stated for FY16.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY17 DNR regional staff continued to provide information and analysis to state and local agencies to identify pollution problems and develop clean water restoration and protection strategies. Staff gathered and analyzed data and information for 52 major watersheds. This included but was not limited to 175 stream studies in 33 watersheds and 5 Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies.

DNR staff synthesize and deliver this information to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and local government and community partners to help inform key stages of the WRAPS process – from sample site selection early in the process to stressor identification to identifying and targeting implementation strategies. For example the MPCA uses some of this information to help identify and locate sources of pollution and refine watershed models used to calculate pollutant loads.

When a watershed reaches the strategy development stage of the WRAPS process DNR regional staff use information they gathered and analyzed earlier in the process to help partners identify and develop multiple-benefit strategies that address the root causes of pollution problems. In FY17 they helped WRAPS partners identify these types of strategies in 40 watersheds.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2015 First Special Session Ch. 2 Art. 2 Sec. 6(d)
Appropriation Language

(d) $1940000 the first year and $1940000 the second year are for developing targeted science-based watershed restoration and protection strategies.

2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,624,000
Direct expenses
$1,708,915
Administration costs
$205,194
Number of full time equivalents funded
18.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY16 the DNR will continue to work with state and local partners providing information and analysis to identify pollution problems and develop clean water restoration and protection strategies. Work will be a continuation of the outcomes stated for FY15. We will continue to participate in multi-agency partnerships to improve the process of assessing watersheds and recommending watershed restoration and protection strategies. Finally we will participate in multi-agency review of state grants for Clean Water Funded work.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY16 DNR field staff continued to provide information and analysis to state and local agencies to identify pollution problems and develop clean water restoration and protection strategies. Staff gathered and analyzed data for 55 major watersheds. This included more than 200 studies involving field surveys and analysis of hydrology stream stability and/or culvert inventory data. It also included assistance with 23 Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies. The resulting information helps the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) identify and locate sources of pollution and develop and improve watershed models for calculating pollutant loads.

The information contributed by the DNR also helps provide a foundation for identifying and targeting restoration and protection strategies and actions. In FY16 DNR field staff helped state and local partners identify and develop restoration and protection strategies in 39 watersheds. Our participation helps teams identify strategies that target the root causes of pollution problems and provide multiple environmental benefits.

As in previous years DNR staff participated in the Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources’ multi-agency review of Clean Water Fund competitive grant proposals for water quality implementation projects by local governments and community partners.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2013 Ch. 137 Art. 2 Sec. 6(d)
Appropriation Language

$1850000 the first year and $1850000
the second year are for developing targeted
science-based watershed restoration and
protection strategies including regional
technical assistance for TMDL plans and
development of a watershed assessment tool
in cooperation with the commissioner of the
Pollution Control Agency. By January 15
2016 the commissioner shall submit a report
to the chairs and ranking minority members
of the senate and house of representatives
committees and divisions with jurisdiction
over environment and natural resources
policy and finance providing the outcomes
to lakes rivers streams and groundwater
achieved with this appropriation and
recommendations.

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,591,245
Direct expenses
$1,414,231
Administration costs
$227,305
Number of full time equivalents funded
16.3
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY 15 the DNR will continue to work with state and local partners providing information and analysis to identify pollution problems and clean water restoration and protection strategies. Work will be a continuation of the outcomes stated for FY14. DNR staff will continue to participate in multi-agency partnerships to improve the process of assessing watersheds and recommending watershed restoration and protection strategies. Finally DNR staff will participate in multi-agency review of state grants for Clean Water Funded work.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY15 DNR hydrologists and clean water specialists provided information and analysis to local and state agencies to identify pollution problems and develop clean water restoration and protection strategies. The DNR’s data and expertise in stream and lake biology geomorphology and hydrology are instrumental in identifying and locating sources of pollution and developing watershed models for calculating pollutant loads. This provides a foundation for targeting water quality restoration and protection work.

We gathered and analyzed existing data for 57 to provide information that enhances our understanding of how water and pollutants move through watersheds. The data and analysis also provides a foundation for targeting restoration and protection efforts. This work included 161 stream geomorphology and hydrology field surveys. We also assisted with 18 TMDL studies.

The DNR participated with interagency teams to develop watershed restoration and protection strategies in 45 watersheds. Our participation helps teams identify strategies that target the root causes of pollution problems and provide clean water and other ecosystem benefits.

DNR staff also participated in multi-agency review of 100 state Clean Water Fund grant proposals for water quality projects that are administered by the Board of Water and Soil Resources.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2013 Ch. 137 Art. 2 Sec. 6(d)
Appropriation Language

$1850000 the first year and $1850000
the second year are for developing targeted
science-based watershed restoration and
protection strategies including regional
technical assistance for TMDL plans and
development of a watershed assessment tool
in cooperation with the commissioner of the
Pollution Control Agency. By January 15
2016 the commissioner shall submit a report
to the chairs and ranking minority members
of the senate and house of representatives
committees and divisions with jurisdiction
over environment and natural resources
policy and finance providing the outcomes
to lakes rivers streams and groundwater
achieved with this appropriation and
recommendations.

2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,750,000
Direct expenses
$1,287,551
Administration costs
$255,250
Number of full time equivalents funded
15.6
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY 14 DNR will continue to work with state and local partners providing information and analysis to identify pollution problems and develop clean water restoration and protection strategies. Work will be a continuation of the outcomes stated for FY13. DNR staff will continue to participate in multi-agency partnerships to improve the process of assessing watersheds and recommending watershed restoration and protection strategies. Finally DNR staff will participate in multi-agency review of applications for Clean Water Fund implementation grants.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY14 DNR staff provided information and analysis to local and state agencies to identify pollution problems and develop clean water restoration and protection strategies. DNR’s data and expertise in stream and lake biology geomorphology and hydrology are instrumental in identifying and locating sources of pollution and developing watershed models for calculating pollutant loads. This provides a foundation for targeting water quality restoration and protection work.

Field staff gathered and analyzed information in 34 watersheds and conducted 211 studies of stream geomorphology and hydrology plus a detailed study of proper culvert design for stream stability. This information results in improved models and enhanced understanding of how water and pollutants move through watersheds.

DNR participated with interagency teams to develop watershed restoration and protection strategies in 37 major watersheds and 30 TMDL studies not associated with a major watershed project. DNR’s participation results in strategies that target the root causes of pollution problems and provide clean water and other ecosystem benefits.

DNR staff also participated in multi-agency review of over 180 state Clean Water Fund grant proposals for water quality projects.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011 First Special Session Ch. 6 Art. 2 Sec. 6(d)
Appropriation Language

$1730000 the first year and $1730000 the second year are for TMDL development and TMDL implementation plans for waters listed on the United States Environmental Protection Agency approved impaired waters list in accordance with Minnesota Statutes chapter 114D and for development of a watershed assessment tool.

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,630,000
Direct expenses
$995,643
Administration costs
$176,930
Number of full time equivalents funded
11.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY 13 DNR will continue to work with state and local partners providing information and analysis to identify pollution problems and develop clean water restoration and protection strategies. This work includes the following tasks:
1)Gathering analyzing and sharing existing information. DNR has a wealth of information on stream flows water levels climatology fisheries habitats rare species watershed boundaries and more which is used in planning watershed assessments identifying pollution types and sources and developing watershed protection and restoration strategies that provide clean water and other ecological benefits.
2)Conducting technical watershed studies. This is generally field reconnaissance and collecting data about stream features (width depth bank erosion) that helps scientists develop computer models to predict pollution sources and amounts as well as inform findings about the causes of water impairments and the best approaches for watershed restoration. The stream measurements - known as stream geomorphology - are also being used in more detailed studies of sediment movement in watersheds and floodplain mapping and analysis.
3)Developing Major Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies. With agency and local partners DNR staff will participate in a process that uses model results data synthesis local input and professional knowledge to recommend protection and restoration options that will be implemented locally for a given major watershed.

DNR staff will also participate in multi-agency partnerships to continually improve the process of assessing watersheds and recommending watershed restoration and protection strategies. Finally DNR staff will participate in multi-agency review of state and federal grants for Clean Water work.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY13 DNR staff provided information and analysis to local and state agencies to identify pollution problems and develop clean water restoration and protection strategies. DNR’s data and expertise in stream and lake biology geomorphology and hydrology are instrumental in identifying and locating sources of pollution and developing watershed models for calculating pollutant loads. The result is a foundation for targeting of water quality restoration and protection work.

Field staff gathered and analyzed information in 30 watersheds and conducted 113 geomorphology studies plus a detailed study of proper culvert design for stream stability. This information results in improved models and enhanced understanding of how water and pollutants move through watersheds.

DNR participated with interagency teams to develop watershed restoration and protection strategies in 23 major watersheds and 17 TMDL studies not associated with a major watershed project. DNR’s participation results in strategies that target the root causes of pollution problems and provide clean water and other ecosystem benefits.

DNR staff also participated in multi-agency review of over 162 state Clean Water Fund grant proposals for water quality projects.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011 First Special Session Ch. 6 Art. 2 Sec. 6(d)
Appropriation Language

$1730000 the first year and $1730000 the second year are for TMDL development and TMDL implementation plans for waters listed on the United States Environmental Protection Agency approved impaired waters list in accordance with Minnesota Statutes chapter 114D and for development of a watershed assessment tool.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,630,000
Direct expenses
$846,187
Administration costs
$337,915
Number of full time equivalents funded
9.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY 12 DNR will continue to partner with federal and state agencies as well as local communities to provide technical assistance to development of clean water restoration and protection strategies. This work includes the following tasks:
1) Gathering analyzing and sharing existing information. DNR has a wealth of information on stream flows water levels climatology fisheries habitats rare species watershed boundaries and more which is used in planning watershed assessments identifying pollution types and sources and developing watershed protection and restoration strategies that provide clean water and other ecological benefits.

2) Conducting technical watershed studies. This is generally field reconnaissance and collecting data about stream features (width depth bank erosion) that helps scientists develop computer models to predict pollution sources and amounts as well as inform findings about the causes of water impairments and the best approaches for watershed restoration. The stream measurements - known as stream geomorphology - are also being used in more detailed studies of sediment movement in watersheds.

3) Developing Major Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies. With agency and local partners DNR staff will participate in a process that uses model results data synthesis local input and professional knowledge to recommend protection and restoration options that will be implemented locally for a given major watershed.

DNR staff will also participate in multi-agency partnerships to continually improve the process of assessing watersheds and recommending watershed restoration and protection strategies.

Finally DNR staff will participate in multi-agency review of state and federal grants for Clean Water work.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY12 DNR staff provided information and analysis to local and state agencies to identify pollution problems and develop clean water restoration and protection strategies. DNR’s data and expertise in stream and lake biology geomorphology and hydrology are instrumental in identifying and locating sources of pollution and developing watershed models for calculating pollutant loads. The result is a foundation for targeting of water quality restoration and protection work.
Field staff gathered and analyzed information in 18 watersheds and conducted 30 geomorphology studies. This information results in improved models and enhanced understanding of how water and pollutants move through watersheds.

DNR participated with interagency teams to develop watershed restoration and protection strategies in 30 major watersheds and 36 TMDL studies not associated with a major watershed project. DNR’s participation results in strategies that target the root causes of pollution problems and provide clean water and other ecosystem benefits.

DNR staff also participated in multi-agency review of over 200 state Clean Water Fund grants for water quality projects.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2009 Ch. 172 Art. 2 Sec. 5(c)
Appropriation Language

$1050000 the first year and $1050000 the second year are for TMDL development and TMDL implementation plans for waters listed on the United States Environmental Protection Agency approved Impaired Waters List in accordance with Minnesota Statutes chapter 114D.

2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,182,500
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY11 DNR will work with state and local partners to provide technical assistance for development of clean water restoration and protection strategies.

The number of watershed strategies being developed are decreasing as MPCA has moved to larger scale watershed projects. However the quality and depth of the technical assistance will increase and will result in more detailed and prioritized plans.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY11 DNR provided technical assistance to 52 clean water strategy efforts. This assistance included participation in pollution studies focused on impaired lakes and river reaches as well as larger watershed-scale Major Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies. This technical assistance consisted of collaboration with state and local agencies in study and planning sessions designing and conducting field reconnaissance work on fish passage geomorphology stressor identification and Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) to review enhance or guide the design of watershed studies and restoration options.

DNR staff also participated in multi-agency review and evaluation of 184 grant proposals for 3 grant funding sources (Clean Water Partnership Nonpoint Source Grant and Clean Water Fund) and did technical reviews on 41 other clean water studies or plans.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2009 Ch. 172 Art. 2 Sec. 5(c)
Appropriation Language

$1050000 the first year and $1050000 the second year are for TMDL development and TMDL implementation plans for waters listed on the United States Environmental Protection Agency approved Impaired Waters List in accordance with Minnesota Statutes chapter 114D.

2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$689,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY10 DNR will work with state and local partners to provide technical assistance for development or implementation of clean water restoration and protection strategies.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY10 DNR provided technical assistance to 63 TMDL (Total Maxiumum Daily Load) or watershed planning efforts. This assistance included:
- work on over 20 technical studies by assisting in design and conducting field reconnaissance work on fish passage geomorphology stressor identification and Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) to review enhance or guide the design of TMDL studies and restoration options.
- review and evaluation of 50 Clean Water Partnership 122 Nonpoint Source Grant and 318 Clean Water Fund Grant proposals.

Project Overview

The DNR's Regional Clean Water Specialists and Area Hydrologists work with other state agencies and local partners to help identify the causes of pollution problems and determine the best strategies for fixing them. A statewide coordinator works with the DNR and external partners to ensure funds are spent in the most effective and efficient manner to meet the State's clean water goals.

About the Issue

Minnesota's state and local agencies work together measure the health of the state's waters and to develop restoration plans for polluted waters and protection plans for healthy waters. In order to select the protection and restoration practices that will be the best investment for clean water, local resource managers need a robust understanding of how streams, lakes, wetlands and groundwater, interact with the areas of land that drain to them and how land use practices impact water health. DNR specialists help bridge gaps in understanding watersheds and specialized aspects of stream health, and provide a community connection to other DNR experts and programs.

Project Manager
First Name
Barbara
Last Name
Weisman
Organization Name
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Street Address
500 Lafayette Road
City
Saint Paul
State
MN
Zip Code
55155
Phone
(651) 259-5147
Email
Barbara.Weisman@state.mn.us