Based on the Minnesota Waters Lake and River Association database, Crow Wing County has the highest number of lake associations in Minnesota. Currently, there are over 136 lake association groups in the county, which does not include neighborhood, resort or religious groups. These lakes aer a cornerstone to the state's tourism econmy and there is a great demand for stormwater management incentive program to protect these local water resources.
Funds are to be used to protect, enhance and restore water quality in lakes, rivers and streams and to protect groundwater and drinking water. Activities include structural and vegetative practices to reduce runoff and retain water on the land, feedlot water quality projects, SSTS abatement grants for low income individuals, and stream bank, stream channel and shoreline protection projects. For the fiscal year 2012, BWSR awarded 13 local governments with funds to complete 143 projects. More information is available in the detail reports below.
Green Streets for Blue Waters is a collaborative effort to install curb cut raingardens and other stormwater management practices within public right of way and on private lands. The project development was funded by the City of Bloomington and the Lower Minnesota River Watershed District, who worked with Metro Blooms to identify the project area and goals.
As the City of Wadena is being re-built after an EF4 tornado, it has become evident that more needs to be done to reduce runoff by retaining or diverting stormwater. The purpose of this project is to provide subgrants to citizens to install various conservation practices on their properties including grassed waterways, rain gardens and tree plantings. Through this subgrant program the citizens of Wadena will have a greater understanding of the importance of stormwater management.
The Kettle River is a major tributary in the St. Croix River Basin. It is a State Wild and Scenic River and designated canoe route. Reducing sediment and nutrient pollution to the Kettle will protect water quality within the watershed and will also benefit the St. Croix River and help to address excess nutrient loading in Lake St. Croix. This project is a partnership between Carlton, Pine, Kanabec, and Aitkin SWCDs, with the Carlton SWCD acting as the project administrator.
Boy and Swift Lakes are connected lakes on the Boy River, the major tributary stream to Leech Lake. In cooperation with funding from the Boy/Swift Lake Association and the Initiative Foundation Healthy Lakes and Rivers program, this project will result in Subsurface Treatment System (SSTS) compliance inspections on up to 290 properties on Boy Lake and 69 on Swift Lake. The project will also result in an SSTS record review and inventory of all properties on the two lakes.
Lake Sarah is a regionally significant lake and currently suffers from excess phosphprus levels. Loretto Creek, located partially within the Cities of Medina and Loretto, is Lake Sarah's east tributary carrying approximately 269 pounds of phosphorus to the lake each year. This is a joint project between the Cities of Loretto and Medina developed for the Loretto ballfields to address this problem.
Through a long standing partnership, this project will continue to implement a process formalized with a 2010 Clean Water Fund Grant to conduct stormwater sub-watershed assessments. The goal of the sub-watershed assessments is to accelerate water quality improvements by focusing efforts in high priority areas. Specifically, subwatershed assessments are a tool used to identify the most effective urban stormwater conservation practice by location.
This project is a cooperative effort including Cass Soil and Water Conservation District, the Association of Cass County Lakes (ACCL), and registered Homeowner Associations throughout Cass County. All of Cass Counties 514 lakes and streams eventually drain into the Upper Mississippi Watershed. Sediment and nutrient pollution continue to be a primary concern when addressing water quality protection issues.
The 400-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from its headwaters at Lake Itasca to Morrison County near Little Falls is the focus of this project. Working in cooperation with the eight member counties, this project will develop implementation plans and strategies geared specifically for the Mississippi River and incorporate them into the individual County Comprehensive Local Water Plans. These recommendations will be for specific strategies, often crossing county boundaries for implementation.
A large portion of Wadena County has been identified as having a high or moderate probability of elevated nitrate concentrations. With almost all of the residents in Wadnea County getting there drinking water from groundwater sources, this issue is a top priority to the county. Through this project, nitrates and other water soluble contaminants leacing into sensitive sand plain aquifers will be reduced by providing cost-share incentives to encourage irrigation producers to convert high or medium pressure irrigation systems to low pressure systems.
This pilot program protected 1,210 acres of wild rice lake shoreland habitat in the Northern Forest Section by securing 14 permanent RIM conservation easements and four fee-title acquisitions, surpassing our goal of 700 acres, and doing so $250,202 under budget.
Eroding streambanks along Bassett Creek are reducing the water quality of the creek and the Mississippi River. This project consists of stabilizing a 3,100 foot reach of Bassett Creek mostly located within Theodore Wirth Regional Park. The proposed stabilization measures will result in an estimated reduction of 52 tons of sediment and 60 pounds phosphorus per year.
This project contains several activities that will implement effective, shovel ready conservation practices on multiple water bodies. The goal is to reduce the erosion impacting stream bank stability. Three initiatives will be implemented, including the installation of four shoreland restoration/stabilization projects, completion of two stream bank stabilization projects on the Middle Fork Crow River and a rain barrel program. An education program will provide outreach to lake and city residents throughout the Middle Fork Crow River Watershed.