Most of Hubbard, Todd and Wadena Counties' irrigated acreage consists of highly permeable, low water holding capacity, sandy textured soils overlying shallow and buried sand and gravel aquifers. These aquifers are very susceptible to non-point water quality degradation from land use practices.
The Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District will partner with the Aitkin County Lakes and Rivers Association, Lake Associations, as well as other eligible community partners to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff and keep water on the land. A mini-grant program to install rain gardens and native vegetation buffers along shorelines of lakes with a completed "Lake Assessment" supported by previous BWSR funding or a TMDL Implementation Plan will be implemented.
Seminary Fen, a 600-acre complex in Carver County, supports one of only 500 calcareous fens in the world and is one of the highest quality calcareous fens in southern Minnesota. The Fen feeds Assumption Creek; one of the metro area's last known trout streams that supports naturally reproducing native brook trout. Assumption Creek then discharges to the nearby Minnesota River. The Fen's unique hydrology, soils, plants, and habitats are highly sensitive to water quality and sedimentation stress.
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.
Healthy communities and healthy water is a priority in Crow Wing County (CWC). The County and the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) propose to enhance and improve the water quality of Little Buffalo Creek, a tributary to the Mississippi River. The SWCD will partner with CWC, the City of Brainerd, citizens, Central Lakes Community College, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to complete raingardens, shoreline stabilizations, and bioretention areas within the Little Buffalo Creek subwatershed.
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.
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 12 local governments with funds.
Most municipalities located in Cass County are adjacent to surface waters that drain into the Upper Mississippi River Watershed. In some cases, over 30% of the community consists of impervious surface coverage. Few, if any of these communities have done any work to retrofit existing stormwater systems. As a result, large amounts of untreated stormwater carrying phosphorus, nitrogen and sediments enter the river. These impacts have resulted in the degrading of water quality in the watershed.
This proposal will further Cass County's goal of having inspection records for all SSTS systems throughout the county. This project will focus on septic systems in East and West Sylvan Townships. These urbanized townships are located within 2-8 miles of the cities of Brainerd-Baxter and are adjacent to the Crow Wing River near its confluence with the Mississippi River.
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.
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.
The Master Water Stewards (MWS) program will install pollution prevention projects on both residential and commercial properties and educate citizens in their neighborhoods to reduce urban runoff and nutrient loads. Community leaders who have been identified, educated and certified as Stewards, will lead projects.
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.
The North Fork Crow River Watershed (NFCRWD) is mainly agricultural and has numerous public and private drainage ditches. Sub-surface drainage are major contributors to the sediment and nutrient loading into the North Fork Crow River and area Lakes. This project help reach the Rice Lake phosphorous reductions goals. Local landowners are willing to contribute land on public drainage systems to retain water and restore wetlands at three locations with total anticipated yearly pollutant removals of 200 tons of total suspended sediment and 235 pounds of phosphorus.
The primary land use within the North Fork Crow River Watershed District is mainly row crop agriculture with extensive public and private drainage systems. A large portion of existing tile lines have open intakes that directly transport sediment and nutrients to open ditches leading to the North Fork Crow River (NFCR). The NFCR flows into Rice Lake that is impaired for aquatic recreation due to excessive nutrients.
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.
The Bluff Creek Watershed TMDL Implementation Plan evaluated the stream power index for each of the gullies identified in the 1996 Management Plan. Based upon this terrain analysis, sediment loading rates from the 1999 to 2008 P8 modeling results, and modeled surface runoff, known erosion sites were prioritized. This site, which is tributary to Bluff Creek and the Minnesota River, was given the highest priority ranking.
Lake Minnewaska, a highly used recreational lake, is the largest body of water in Pope County. While scientific studies show that the transparency in Lake Minnewaska has been increasing over the last 30 years, there are numerous ravines on the south shore of Lake Minnewaska that could threaten this trend. The erosion in these ravines is causing large amounts of sediment and phosphorus to be dumped directly into Lake Minnewaska. After a storm in 2011, many trees vegetating the ravines were blown down, ripping out the roots and further exposing the soil along these ravines.
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.
The goal of this project is to implement 10-15 medium sized projects that will infiltrate and reduce pollutant loads to the waters in the Riley-Purgatory-Creek Watershed District. The District intends to achieve this by using their Citizen Advisors who are well involved with local associations, City staff who are familiar with associations in their jurisdiction and also seek less-known association through various advertising methods. We intend to use staff knowledge to insure that the projects are suitable for the site and implemented correctly to maximize efficiency.
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.
The City of Eden Prairie and the Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District are jointly developing and implementing a restoration plan for Staring Lake that includes nutrient reductions and carp management. The City of Eden Prairie, through a comprehensive pond inspection program, identified high priority ponds and subwatersheds for nutrient reductions in the Staring Lake watershed. Several ponds were identified as excellent candidates for iron enhanced sand filtration.
The Medicine Lake Excess Nutrient Total Maximum Daily Load study indicates a volume reduction of 10% will reduce phosphorus loading to Medicine Lake by over 300 pounds. The 400 Project is a grant program supporting projects to reduce existing impervious surface and increase infiltration through the implementation and use of porous pavement(s) and/or reinforced turf technology. While new construction has more opportunity to include water quality improvements, The 400 Project is unique in that can assist with redevelopment projects where space is limited.