The Mille Lacs County agricultural landscape largely consists of long shallow slopes that are prone to intermittent streams, as well as sheet and rill erosion. Nutrient and manure management, reduced tillage, residue management and cover cropping, as well as runoff and erosion control structures, have all been identified as local priority practices necessary to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus inputs to surface and ground water.
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.
Clearwater County's lakes provide significant environmental, economic and recreational benefits . This project will assist local water management planning efforts by collecting and analyzing available lake water quality information and watershed characteristics for Bagley, Long Lake and Long Lost Lakes. Bringing the available water quality information that has been gathered and presenting it in a manner that is understandable to lake residents and other citizens is the goal of the project.
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.
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.
Lambert Creek discharges into Vadnais Lake, the final impoundment reservoir containing the potable water supply for the city of St. Paul and eight nearby suburbs. Monitoring data indicates high nutrient levels and the creek is listed by the State as having high bacterial levels. In-stream work along Lambert Creek has been maximized with restoration improvements achieving nutrient load reduction. The next step to further improve water quality is to concentrate on restoration efforts on a subwatershed level.
Pine Soil and Water Conservation District is partnering with the City of Sturgeon Lake to seal over 50% of the unused wells in the city limits. The City of Sturgeon Lake recently installed a municipal water supply system, and completed a Minnesota Department of Health approved Wellhead Protection Plan. Residents have connected to the new public water supply system and need to seal their unused wells.
Lambert Creek is wholly within the Vadnais Lake Area Water Management Area. Vadnais Lake is the drinking water reservoir for the City of St. Paul and surrounding communities. Lambert Creek has elevated bacteria and nutrient levels and water quality in Vadnais Lake will not improve unless there is a reduction in the phosphorus loading from Lambert Creek.
These projects will improve water quality by reducing the sediment and phosphorus delivery to the Kettle and St. Croix River Watersheds and engage and educate municipalities and the public regarding the water quality benefits of shoreline buffers and rain gardens. Phosphorus and sediment delivery to the Kettle River from stormwater runoff at Robinson Park in the City of Sandstone will be reduced by the establishment of a native buffer and repair of the river bank by installing soil wraps implanted with deep rooted native species.
The Fairview Avenue storm sewer system is under capacity and stormwater runoff reaches the pipe faster than the pipes can convey the water downstream. This causes the system to surcharge, causing arterial street flooding, local street flooding, inundation of open spaces, as well as private property damage. This storm sewer system is directly connected to several significant regional water bodies.
Lambert Creek is wholly within the Vadnais Lake Area Water Management Organization (VLAWMO) and is located in northeastern Ramsey County. Lambert Creek is surrounded by mainly residential land use and flows through three communities before discharging into East Vadnais Lake, which is the final impoundment reservoir containing the water supply that the Saint Paul Regional Water Services (SPRWS) treats and then distributes to thirteen municipalities including the city of St. Paul.
The Lost River requires ongoing protection efforts to reduce harmful runoff entering the watershed. A primary element of this project involves providing project development and technical assistance to a producer who owns approximately 1/3 mile of Lost River frontage. Severe erosion and feedlot conditions compromise water quality in this area. The restoration of this jeopardized area will be accomplished through buffers, streambank restoration and livestock exclusion.
The Kohlman Lake nutrient reduction study identified a major source of phosphorus loading from the impervious areas like roads, roofs and parking lots within the watershed.. Within this area, one major land use feature stands out - Maplewood Mall. Retrofitting the Mall parking areas to infiltrate at least one inch of stormwater runoff will result in a large reduction in phosphorus to Kohlman Creek and the lake.
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 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.
This project will protect the groundwater and the city of Princeton's drinking water from nutrient contamination associated with livestock manure storage. Well water tested throughout Mille Lacs County, and specifically within the Anoka Sand Plain area of Princeton, routinely indicate the presence of nitrates in shallow drinking water wells.
Turbidity and E.coli impairments characterize the Clearwater River Watershed and its sub-watersheds. Focused protective efforts in this watershed have helped, but more work is vitally needed to further improve the quality of water. Several recent studies on the Clearwater River watershed and its sub-watersheds, Lost River and Silver Creek will be used to direct the work.
Ramsey County has over 3,500 acres tied to faith based organizations and schools. On average, these properties contribute one billion gallons of stormwater runoff, 3,000 pounds of phosphorus, and 1,000 tons of sediment to local water bodies. The Ramsey Conservation District (RCD) in partnership with local property owners and watershed districts/water management organizations will install 6-12 stormwater projects that will help protect and improve water quality of surrounding lakes.
This project will provide land and water managers in the Red River Basin with data and online tools to prioritize actions on the landscape that achieve water quality objectives identified in local and state plans. This will help identify strategically important locations for implementing erosion control and water management practices. Standardized watershed-based data products will be integrated into a web-based planning tool which will be added to the Red River Basin Decision Information Network (RRBDIN) being developed as part of the Red River Watershed Feasibility Study.
The Redwood and Cottonwood River Watersheds have been assessed and many reaches have been impaired for turbidity, bacteria, and low dissolved oxygen. This project will accelerate conservation efforts to reduce overland runoff sediment, bacteria, and nutrient loadings contributing to water quality impairments in targeted subwatersheds.
The Redwood River and Cottonwood River watersheds encompass approximately 2,020 square miles of southwestern Minnesota in the Minnesota River Basin. Land use in these watersheds is mostly agricultural and area geology makes them prone to erosion. Surface water issues within the two watersheds are a concern of local leaders. The counties and Soil and Water Conservation District leaders formed the Redwood Cottonwood Rivers Control Area (RCRCA) Joint Powers Board in 1983 to address sedimentation, water quality and quantity, and erosion issues.
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.
The Highland Ravine is a large bluff area in central St. Paul that has become highly eroded due to hydrologic changes associated with urban development. During rain and snow melt events, water and sediment moves down slope onto private residential properties causing significant flooding and sedimentation. In addition, sediment-laden water from the gullies goes into the St. Paul storm sewer system which discharges, untreated, directly to the Mississippi River.
Bald Eagle Lake is a popular recreational lake known for its fishery on the Metropolitan Council's Priority Lakes List. The lake is negatively impacted by excess nutrients and restoring its water quality is a local priority.
This project will collect stormwater runoff from an approximately 900 acre area and re-use it to irrigate an existing golf course. This innovative project will provide a multitude of environmental benefits for Bald Eagle Lake including significant runoff volume reduction, groundwater recharge and phosphorus load reduction.
This area of the Minnesota River Basin has been identified as contributing significant amounts of sediment to the watershed. The primary cause of the sediment is from gullies and ravines. This project by the Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA) continues efforts begun with FY2011 Clean Water Funds. Using data collected through Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and LiDAR, GERBA will install best management practices to address severe ravines and gullies in targeted specific locations.
Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD) is a largely developed area of the Twin Cities with an average impervious surface area of 34%. Faith organizations often have large impervious surface areas with little to no stormwater treatment on site. The goal of this project is to collaborate with faith organizations in high priority areas to implement stormwater volume reduction retrofit projects. High priority areas are defined as areas with limited to no stormwater treatment before reaching a water body and/or areas that drain to an impaired water.
Lake of the Woods is a world-class fishery and an important economic driver for Roseau County. The proposed project will investigate and quantify sources of sediment to the lower portion of the Warroad River near its confluence with Lake of the Woods. Sedimentation at the mouth of the Warroad River is a concern for several reasons including fisheries habitat, water quality and the drinking water supply for the city of Warroad.