This project is a continuation of Statewide Lake study that revealed the obiquitous presence of endrocrine active compounds (EACs) in many MN Lakes. The initial project findings suggested two potential knowledge gaps in our understanding of EACs and their effects in lake environments. First, the sources of EACs and their entrance points into lakes need to be better defined than was possible in our previous statewide lake study.
This project will promulgate a nitrate water quality standard to address aquatic life toxicity, and gather information needed to support the development of total nitrogen (N) loading reduction strategies for Minnesota’s waters and also address Minnesota’s contribution to marine water hypoxia. Project will also develop a framework for a watershed nitrogen planning aid that can be used to optimize selection of Best Management Practice (BMP) systems for reducing nitrogen.
This project will identify and compile existing nitrate data from groundwaters and surface waters in the Lower Mississippi Basin (LMB) generally and focus on the Root River Watershed. The purpose is to investigate the quantity and quality of existing nitrate data, and to organize it for use in comprehensive watershed strategy development (including assessment, TMDL computation and identification and study of nitrate sources and delivery mechanisms).
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Geological Survey collected information and conducted an assessment of the hydraulic properties and chemistry of selected aquifers in the metro area. This project greatly improves the accessibility of existing data, which were previously available only in scattered paper reports. A robust database of groundwater age, aquifer hydraulic conductivity and groundwater chemistry data was developed to make the information easily accessible to water resource managers.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Geological Survey evaluated the vulnerability of glacial aquifers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The project improved upon previous vulnerability assessments by incorporating a substantial amount of new aquifer property information and blending methods previously used by the Minnesota Departments of Health and Natural Resources. The result is a consistent vulnerability assessment across the metropolitan area based on the most up-to-date information available.
This project will assess the exposure and effects of WWTP effluent on a model vertebrae organism, the fathead minnow. Through a series of controlled experiments, to be conducted on-site of the WWTP utilizing the Mobile Exposure Laboratory Trailer (MELT),SCSU will address (1) onset and timing of acute exposure effects, (2) downstream exposure effects, and (3) reproductive consequences of exposure for male and female fathead minnows. MPCA EAO staff will provide technical assistance and oversight of the project.
This project will provide analysis of geographic patterns, temporal trends of lake clarity and relationships of water clarity to other lake properties, land cover and demographic factors by use of satellite remote sensing. Data for all lakes and years are available in the LakeBrowser, a web-based mapping tool that enables searches and display of results for individual lakes. This project will extend and add to the database, analyze current and new data, and enhance the capability for resource managers to access and use the data.
This project will extend and update the lake water clarity database of Landsat-estimated lake clarity. Outcomes include enhance capability, ease of use and effectiveness of the Lake Browser and database and add to the Lake Browser.
Native trout require clean, cold water that usually originates from springs, but the springs feeding the 173 designated trout streams in southeastern Minnesota are under increasing pressure from current and expected changes in land use. This joint effort by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is working to identify and map the springs and the areas that feed water to these springs and to learn how these waters might be affected by development and water use.
This project will develop a surficial geology shapefile (map) for part of the State of Minnesota, by modifying and joining smaller existing, but separate, surficial geology maps. The resulting internally consistent geographic information system (GIS) layer will be used to support the hydrologic parameterization of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) watershed models.
This project will apply science to identify viable and priority wetland restorations and rehabilitations that will deliver sustainable water quality benefit, along with flood storage and habitat benefits. Decision tools will be developed to assist with selection of restoration projects.
Project outcomes include results from hydroponics experiments, which will likely consist of information on the response of wild rice growth to a range of concentrations of sulfate, sulfide, and various cations. Results from these experiments will be used to help determine what additional research is needed in 2013. The MPCA will use this data to evaluate the current sulfate standard and the need, if any, for modifications to it.
Project outcomes include data that will ultimately allow the MPCA to quantitatively compare the environmental conditions (surface water and sedimentary geochemistry) at sites that successfully support wild rice growth to sites that do not support wild rice. These data, in particular the analysis of the porewater samples obtained under this project, will be compared to the results from a separate project that will assess the growth of wild rice using hydroponic methods.
The MPCA is undertaking a study to investigate the potential effects of elevated sulfate on the growth of wild rice. One high-priority hypothesis is that the conversion of sulfate to sulfide in anoxic subsurface sediment may harm the roots of wild rice, either directly, or indirectly. The goal of this project is To observe and develop an understanding of exposure of wild rice roots to changes in concentration of sulfide and related chemicals over time and space (depth of sediment and distance from roots).
The MPCA is currently collecting additional information needed to evaluate the 10 mg/liter wild-rice-based sulfate standard and has received funding through legislation passed during the 2011 Special Session to implement a wild rice research plan and contract with scientific experts to further understand the effects of sulfate on the growth of wild rice. The goal of this project is to determine responses of wild rice to sulfate and the products of geochemical transformations of sulfate.
This project will provide lab analyses and interpretation required for 2012 wild rice field survey. The 2012 lab analyses will be merged with the 2011 field survey data and determine what additional work, if any, is needed during the 2013 field season.