Lower Prior Lake was the target of a 2011-2013 diagnostic and feasibility study that identified projects and ranked subwatershed by phosphorus loading to the lake. This project is in a high loading subwatershed and includes three elements designed to reduce phosphorus loading and control rates and volumes of stormwater runoff: 1) retrofitting an existing ditch section with in-line iron-sand filters; 2) expanding storage capacity and creating wetland upstream of the ditch; and 3) installing a new control structure in an existing berm.
Arctic Lake, while not listed as an impaired water on the statewide 303(d) list, both regularly exceeds the statewide phosphorus standard for shallow lakes and drains directly to Upper Prior Lake, which is impaired for nutrients Reducing Phosphorus to Arctic Lake will help reverse the current declining water quality while also reducing the loading entering Upper Prior Lake.
This project builds on the momentum and success of previous Clean Water Fund grants in making significant non-point source pollution reductions that address state-identified turbidity, excess nutrient and dissolved oxygen impairments of the Lower Minnesota River and points downstream. These water quality improvements will be achieved by constructing high-value, cost-effective conservation best management practices in Scott County directly tributary to the Minnesota River.
Once thought to have an essentially inexhaustible groundwater supply, Minnesotans are now realizing our rates of use are regionally unsustainable. Recent advanced modeling by the MN DNR and Metropolitan Council of aquifer supplies, in conjunction with predicted demand, indicate the major metropolitan area aquifers are currently subject to extraction rates that exceed recharge. Simply stated, we are mining our groundwater.
This project will reduce sediment and nutrient loading to the main stem and local tributaries of the Lower Minnesota River (LMR) by providing cost share for practices that treat ravine headcut and channel erosion, streambank/shoreline erosion, ephemeral gully erosion, and direct-discharging open inlet drainage systems. Targeted Best Management Practices (BMPs) will include but not be limited to grade control structures, grassed/lined waterways, water & sediment control basins, shoreline/streambank stabilization and alternative tile inlets.
This project builds on the momentum of previous Clean Water Fund grants in making significant and quantifiable sediment, nutrient and runoff volume reductions to address the turbidity, dissolved oxygen and other impairments of the Lower Minnesota River (LMR). These water quality improvements will be achieved by constructing on-the-ground conservation best management practices (BMPs) in the targeted watersheds -including specifically Sand and Roberts Creek - and near channel sources.
Ensuring natural resource practitioners are applying state-of-the-art approaches is the best way to achieve optimum Best Management Practice (BMP) selection, design, and placement in the landscape, thereby maximizing Clean Water Fund (CWF) benefits. To that end, it is critical to train new staff, create modeling protocols for new BMPs, refine and calibrate models, and test ever-advancing modeling applications.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA) along with Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Counties, landowners, and drainage authorities in the ten member counties will install conservation drainage practices to improve water quality. 103E drainage systems with documented sediment or water quality issues are the focus with the goal of installing 52 practices such as improved side inlets (grade stabilization structures), alternative tile inlets, denitrifying bioreactors, saturated buffers, storage wetlands and others.
Nicollet County is located in south central Minnesota and is bordered on two sides by the Minnesota River. A line of forested bluffs separate the river valley from land that is relatively flat and historically used for agricultural purposes. Approximately 245,000 acres of the County are actively farmed. The 2012 impaired waters list for water bodies located in Nicollet County include the Minnesota River, Seven Mile Creek, Rogers Creek and tributaries to the Rush River.
This project is a cooperative initiative between the Prior Lake Spring Lake Watershed District, the City of Prior Lake, and the Scott Soil and Water Conservation District to implement on-the-ground Best Management Practices (BMPs) that will protect and improve water quality in Spring, Upper Prior and Lower Prior Lakes, water resources of local, regional, and state significance. Spring and Upper Prior Lakes are both impaired and have a completed Total Maximum Daily Load and Implementation Plan.
This project will reduce sediment to the Minnesota River, control erosion and reduce sedimentation in a local DNR Protected Water and protect private land and public infrastructure. The County Road (CR) 6 ravine (Quarry Creek) cuts through the Minnesota River valley bluff in Blakeley Township. Active channel incision and erosion within the ravine has caused large amounts of sediment to be deposited under the bridge at CR 6 such that the road is frequently flooded and sediment has to be removed several times a year.
Calcareous fens such as the Savage Fen are fragile ecosystems existing only under a unique combination of soil type, hydrology, chemistry, and vegetation. The City of Savage is continuing efforts to protect this important ecosystem through this project. Two large ravines -Dakota Avenue and McColl's Bluff - discharge to the Fen, which was granted special status under the State's Wetlands Conservation Act. Both ravines are highly eroded and carry a significant amount of stormwater and sediment to the Savage Fen.