The Board of Water and Soil Resources is required to contract with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa (formerly Minnesota Conservation Corps), or CCMI, for installation of conservation practices benefitting water quality for at least $500,000 in each year of the 2010-11 biennium. The Board approved reserving the following funds in each year of the biennium to comply with this appropriation:$200,000 from the Runoff Reduction Grants, $200,000 from the Clean Water Assistance Grants, $100,000 from the Shoreland Improvement Grants.
The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure and is not duplicated by any other source of funding.The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses.
The DNR is working with local communities and an interagency team to define, prioritize, and establish groundwater management areas in Minnesota. Groundwater management areas will have increased data collection and monitoring that allow the state and local communities to understand water supplies, uses, limitations, and threats to natural resources that depend on groundwater. This information will support detailed aquifer protection plans that ensure equitable and sustainable groundwater and drinking water use for the future.
Bartlett Lake in Koochiching County is impaired for eutrophication and has already undergone a paleolimnological study. This project will utilize the data and results of paleolimnological study to develop in-lake management strategies that, if implemented, could significantly improve the water quality of Bartlett Lake.
The Blue Earth SWCD will be monitoring 7 stream sites located in the Le Sueur River Watershed. The stream sites will be monitored at the road crossing locations via bridge, culvert or shore. Onsite conditions will be recorded, water sample readings will be taken for Secchi tube, specific conductance, temperature, pH, DO, and photos taken.
Governor Mark Dayton's landmark buffer initiative was signed into law in 2015. The law establishes new perennial vegetation buffers of up to 50 feet along rivers, streams, and ditches that will help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment. The new law provides flexibility and financial support for landowners to install and maintain buffers.
The DNR's role in Minnesota's new buffer law is to produce a statewide map of public waters and public ditches that require permanent vegetation buffers. The DNR is scheduled to produce these maps by July 2016.
A multi-partner effort has begun to study the amount of nitrate-nitrogen (nitrate) leaching loss that occurs below an agricultural field recently converted from timber land to irrigated row crop production. The landowner has made the property and their staff available to better understand the deep drainage and nitrate leaching dynamics following this type of land use change. This study is unique.
The Clay County Drainage Site is designed to evaluate the environmental impact of both surface and subsurface drainage from agricultural fields. This site includes six subsurface plots and one surface runoff plot, each approximately 24 acres in size. Monitoring stations are fully automated and each individual plot is monitored separately.The soils and topography across this demonstration site are virtually identical and represent field characteristics common in the most productive agricultural areas of the Red River Valley.
The goals of the program are to evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural conservation practices, identify underlying processes that affect water quality, and develop technologies to target critical areas of the landscape. Funded projects provide current and accurate scientific data on the environmental impacts of agricultural practices and help to develop or revise agricultural practices that reduce environmental impacts while maintaining farm profitability.
This project is for Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) development in the Rainy River Headwaters watershed. The recipient will provide support for outreach and engagement in Rainy River Headwaters and Lake Superior North watersheds. They will also support watershed gap monitoring and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) gage monitoring.
The Cottonwood River watershed is one of the last remaining watersheds to complete Cycle I of the Watershed Restoration & Protections Strategies (WRAPS) process. The scope of this project upon completion is have two reports developed; a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies report and a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the entire watershed.
The DNR works with the Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) to convey valuable geologic and groundwater information and interpretations to government units at all levels, but particularly to local governments, private organizations and citizens.