This project goal is to conduct water chemistry monitoring at seventeen stream locations, to record and submit all data collected through this process, and to provide the information necessary for the calculation of water quality pollutant loads using the FLUX32 program.
This project will accelerate production of County Geologic Atlases (part A). An atlas is a set of geologic maps and associated databases for a county that facilitate informed management of natural resources, especially water and minerals.
The Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District will partner with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and local volunteers to conduct water quality monitoring in high priority areas of the Upper Mississippi River Grand Rapids Watershed. Five lakes will be sampled, including Savanna, Shumway, Loon, Hay, and Washburn. Through this effort we will obtain information that will be useful in assessing the health of this watershed. This will be valuable in planning for future restoration and protection efforts that will ensure good water and environmental quality for Aitkin County.
Widseth Smith Nolting (WSN) will evaluate and recommend to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) groundwater monitoring staff prospective sites/locations for the installation of groundwater monitoring wells to evaluate contaminant/pollutant concentrations from various sources. Peer will oversee the installation of monitoring wells by retaining a state drilling contractor or preparing bid documents to retain well driller through the Department of Administration.
The goal of this project is to develop a stream restoration opportunities matrix for the Amity Creek watershed, which will prioritize the various protection and restoration options in the watershed for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and local partners.
Through various means, human produced chemicals can make their way into surface waters where they can have adverse effects on the function of ecological communities. Of particular concern are antibiotics and other antimicrobial substances because they have the potential to create increased antibiotic resistance. While there is a background level of naturally occurring antibiotic resistance in the natural world, elevated or persistent levels caused by human activities have the potential to harm human, animal, and overall ecosystem health.
Aquatic invasive species pose critical ecological and economic challenges for the entire state and beyond. They can cause irreparable harm to fisheries and aquatic habitat as well as damage to infrastructure. The problems posed by aquatic invasive species continue to grow as existing infestations expand and new exotic species arrive, most of which are poorly understood. New ideas and approaches are needed to develop real solutions.
There is a critical need to understand how our natural resources are already responding to climate change in order to develop tools for projecting natural resource responses into the future and to devise plans for actions that can be taken in reaction to observed and predicted changes. Phenology – the timing of seasonal biological events such as budburst, flowering, bird migration, and leaf coloring – provides a tested indicator of climate change response by plants and animals.
The primary goal of this project is to analyze of dated sediment cores to reconstruct changes in the lake condition over the last 150 years. This will be done using multiple lines of evidence including biogeochemistry, sediment accumulation, and diatom and algal remains as biological indicators.
The goals of this project are to develop and implement a stakeholder and public engagement program, update the Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) models for the Big Fork and Little Fork River Watersheds, develop Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies for impaired waterbodies, remove naturally impaired streams from the impairment list, develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report, and to conduct civic engagement activates necessary to ensure project success.
Silver carp are migrating north up the Mississippi River and pose threats to the native fish and aquatic ecosystems of Minnesota rivers and lakes where they can become established. Additionally, the unique jumping ability of silver carp also places recreational boaters in danger of being injured during collisions with airborne fish. However, it is believed that this jumping ability could potentially be exploited as a weakness to help detect, manage, and control silver carp populations. Researchers at the University of Minnesota – Duluth, in cooperation with the U.S.
Invasive carp species, including silver carp and bighead carp, are migrating north up the Mississippi River and pose threats to the native fish and aquatic ecosystems of Minnesota rivers and lakes where they can become established. While individual carp have been found in Minnesota, it is not presently believed that there are established breeding populations in the state.
Brown marmorated stink bug is a terrestrial invasive species in Minnesota that was first discovered in 2010 and has been expanding its range since. It is a generalist plant pest that attacks more than 300 species of plants in natural, agricultural, and horticultural settings and is known for its unpleasant odor, large numbers, and propensity for home invasion. Proactive management approaches are available and in development that can be used to slow and potentially control brown marmorated stink bug populations.
The goal of this project is to apply the Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) model to evaluate scenarios to support potential management actions and implementation in the watershed, construct Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies, and to develop a conceptual site model of the lakes for understanding phosphorus release.
The data collected in this workplan is the foundation for an accurate TMDL allocation and accurate implementation strategy design. Current and historic phosphorus inputs will be calculated and evaluated as to source. Nutrient and algal history and trends in sedimentation will be reconstructed to identify ecological changes that have occurred in the lakes both recently and historically.
Carlton County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Carlton County Planning and Zoning, and local volunteers will lead an effort to collect Total Phosphorus, Chlorophyll-A, and secchi disc transparency data for the MPCA Surface Water Assessment Grant (SWAG) project on following six lakes: Eagle Lake, Upper (North) Island Lake, Lower (South) Island Lake, Tamarack Lake, Cole Lake, and Cross Lake.
On many public lands in northwest Minnesota, cattail growth has far exceeded the distribution recommended for optimum wetland wildlife habitat and a need for cattail control has become recognized. Cattails have also recently been demonstrated to have bioenergy potential.
The goal of the Chippewa River Watershed Protection project is to protect unimpaired areas of the watershed. This will be accomplished through education and outreach with landowners and through implementation of best management practices.
This study will test groundwater and drain tile waters at concentrated animal feedlot opperations (CAFOs) to evaluate the presence of intibiotics and hormones. Samples will be collected from monitoring wells, tile drain sumps, and tile line discharges.
Water samples will be sent to Axys Analytical Services as they are colleced from each monitoring site. A total of 18 samples will be generated in the field by pumping ultrapure water through the sampling system.
Minnesota ranks #2 in hog production and #1 in sugar beet production in the U.S., generating about 11 million tons of pig manure and over one million tons of sugar processing wastes annually. Presently there are not cost-effective methods available to deal with these waste streams other than land application, which usually results in nutrient runoff into ground and surface water resources.
The goal of this project is to update existing bacteria and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) source inventory through desktop survey and field reconnaissance to identify and prioritize locations to reduce sediment and bacteria loading to the Clearwater River; then, design and implement best management practices (BMPs) at prioritized locations to reduce loading.
Though they are a relatively unnoticed group of species, native freshwater mussels are a critical part of river ecosystems because they provide a variety of important functions including improved water clarity, enhanced streambed stability, reduced downstream transport of contaminants, and creation of habitat for other aquatic life. However, mussel populations in Minnesota have declined in recent decades as a result of habitat destruction, pollution, land-use change, over-harvesting, and the introduction of exotic species.
The goal of this project is to develop a core team of wastewater professionals and academics engaged in understanding and solving wastewater-related problems in Minnesota, with national relevance. The team will promote the use of new technology, designs and practices to address existing and emerging wastewater treatement challenges, including the treatement of wastewater for reuse and the emergence of new and unregulated contaminants.
The goal of this project is to develop and complete the Watershed Restoration and Protection (WRAP) process and report, while also enlarging and sustaining a public participation process that encourages local ownership of water quality problems and solutions (civic engagement).
Civic engagement strategies including education public participation in watershed work and expanded knowledge, technical input into and review of stressor id process and report, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reports, implementation plans and protecion strategies.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) offers grants to counties for Subsurface Sewage Treatment System (SSTS) program administration and special projects to improve SSTS compliance rates, and assistance for low-income homeowners with needed SSTS upgrades. The MPCA will determine grant allocations based on applications review; funds will flow to counties through the Board of Water and Soil Resources' Natural Resources Block Grants.
Each year Minnesota municipal wastewater treatment plants generate large amounts of oily scum, concentrated liquid called centrate, and sludge. These waste streams are disposed of either in landfills or by burning or subjected to additional treatment. However, new technologies have shown potential to capture resource values from these waste products while lowering the treatment costs for these waste streams.
Minnesota’s natural resource professional workforce is much less diverse than its citizenry and many other professional fields. The benefits of a more diverse workforce are many, including the ability of organizations to increase innovation and creativity, attract higher qualified candidate pools, and ensure services that meet the diverse interests and needs of all citizens.
This training will be for State employees who have purchased this new type of discharge measuring equipment. This training is needed to ensure that accurate and complete discharge measurements are made which is supplied to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Consulting firms, Local units of government, federal government and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) modelers.
Mine stockpiles are unproductive due to soil deficiencies of organic matter, nutrients, and soil organisms, which are essential to supporting healthy plant growth, diversity, and succession. Waste products, including biosolids, composts, and dredged materials, have the potential to be used to address some of these deficiencies and make the lands productive again.
The purpose of the project is to fill critical data gaps - this data will provide a foundation for future development of watershed models, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reports and the creation of a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report.
The goal of this project is to create a contact strategy for community/landowner opportunities, obstacles, and opinions on land management and water quality that will result in the identification of restoration and protection strategies for the East Fork Des Moines River watershed.
Pollinators play a key role in ecosystem function and in agriculture, including thousands of native plants and more than one hundred U.S. crops that either need or benefit from pollinators. However, pollinators are in dramatic decline in Minnesota and throughout the country. The causes of the decline are not completely understood, but identified factors include loss of nesting sites, fewer flowers, increased disease, and increased pesticide use. Fortunately, there are known actions that can be taken to help counteract some of these factors.
Wastewater treatment plants discharge effluent that contains contaminants of emerging concern, such as estrogens. Estrogens have been shown to cause ecological effects such as fish feminization and fish population collapses. Presently the treatment and discharge of estrogens into the environment via wastewater treatment is not regulated. However, it has been found that the extent of estrogen discharge from wastewater treatment correlates with how and how well nitrogen, which currently is regulated and will likely be more so in the future, is removed during the treatment process.
The focus of this project will be on protection efforts to maintain or improve the water quality of Forest Lake by reducing phosphorus loads to the lake, especially from storm water. The two main objectives of this project are to compile and make minor updates to a large body of diagnostic work that already exists for Forest Lake, and to develop a comprehensive, site-specific implementation plan for best management practices (BMPs).
This grant will cover all components of water chemistry sampling for pollutant load monitoring at four sites. Of those four sites, two of them are subwatershed sites that will be monitored seasonally and two of them are basin/major watershed sites that will be monitored year round. The Monitoring Coordinator for the Sauk River Watershed District will be responsible for sample collection, data management tasks, attending weekly call in meetings and will coordinate additional help from other staff members and/or interns if needed.