This project will support the monitoring of two sites on the Cannon River throughout the field seasons of 2013 and 2014 during storm events and baseflow conditions to capture 25 samples per year at each site according to the WPLMN objectives. The information gathered from these samples and site visits will be compiled for reporting purposes and for use in calculating pollutant loading using the FLUX32 model.
The MPCA has identified 13 stream sites in the watershed to characterize watershed water quality. This project will supplement and complement the identification of the top 50 sites in the watershed that are contributing to water impairment and also help in identification of priority watersheds in the re-write of the watershed comprehensive plan. Water samples and field measurements will be collected at each monitoring location ranging from baseline events to high flow events.
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.
Terrestrial invasive plants such as buckthorn, wild parsnip, garlic mustard, and others are becoming widespread threats throughout many sites in Minnesota. Present chemical and mechanical control methods tend to be costly, effective only in the short-term, or have other negative environmental impacts. However, an alternative practice of using grazing animals for invasive species management is used successfully in many parts of the western United States.
This project will directly inform the Lake of the Woods (LoW )TMDL process by identifying nutrient reduction targets, a timeline of phosphorus loadings to the lake, and measures of historical in-lake variability (e.g., nutrients, biological communities). Results will complement and build on ongoing research efforts on internal loading and sediment core analysis.
This project will identify and compile existing nitrate data from groundwaters and surface waters in the Lower Mississippi Basin (LMB) generally and focus on the Root River Watershed. The purpose is to investigate the quantity and quality of existing nitrate data, and to organize it for use in comprehensive watershed strategy development (including assessment, TMDL computation and identification and study of nitrate sources and delivery mechanisms).
This project will support a civic engagement cohort that will be offered in southwest Minnesota to foster partnering and build capacity of local government, organizations, and residents for effective civic engagement in water protection and restoration. This project will also build networks and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection. The cohort will be administered through the Minnesota River Board (MRB), established in 1995 with a goal of focusing water management efforts on the local level.
This project will build network and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection in Southeast Minnesota. The cohort will be administered through the Southeast Minnesota Water Resources Board (SE MN WRB) which is an area wide Joint Powers Board (JPB) established to help improve and protect the water resources of the area through coordinating local water planning efforts. This JPB has successfully administered water quality grants in the past that have positively impacted the water resources of this region.
This project will complete an implementation plan, as required by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, for the Zumbro River turbidity TMDL project. It will also revise the Zumbro River Watershed Management Plan (completed 2007) to ensure it continues to reflect local needs, incorporates new information, and develops more effective linkages with related local, state and federal government programs.
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been decimating ash throughout the Great Lake States and is currently advancing into Minnesota, threatening the future of the ash forests that occur across much of the state. Of particular concern is the impact EAB will have on the ecology and functioning of black ash swamps, which cover over one million acres in Minnesota and represent the state’s most common ash forest type. Black ash trees grow and thrive in swamps and occupy a unique wet niche where few other tree species grow.
Minnesota has 9.5 million acres of public forest lands that play an important role in sustaining Minnesota’s environment and economy. The policies and programs used by public timber sale programs can impact post-harvest ecological conditions and have pronounced effects on the composition, structure, and productivity of the forest in the future. Additionally, timber harvesting revenues play an important role in economic activity, employment, and tax revenue.
Over 527,000 acres of unmanaged woodlands are being used for livestock grazing throughout Minnesota. Managing these grazed woodlands based on the use of best management practices can provide environmental and economic opportunities, including improved water quality, maximized forage production, and higher-quality timber. The best management practices involved are commonly used in other parts of the country with other types of ecosystems, but have not been widely adopted in Minnesota due to a lack of knowledge and experience with implementing them within the ecosystems of Minnesota.
With this appropriation, the Minnesota Land Trust plans to protect approximately 500 acres of critical shoreline habitat along Minnesota's lakes, wetlands, rivers, and streams by securing permanent conservation easements and dedicating funds for their perpetual monitoring, management, and enforcement. Lands being considered for permanent protection in this round of funding are located in Becker, Beltrami, Blue Earth, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Le Sueur, Otter Tail, Pope, and Wabasha counties.
There funds are enabling Pheasants Forever to acquire in fee title approximately 86 acres of habitat along the borders of existing Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) or Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA) in LeSueur, Lincoln, or Rice counties and convey the lands to a public agency for long term stewardship and protection. These strategic acquisitions will leverage and expand the existing habitat, water quality, and recreation benefits already provided by existing protected lands.
Minnesota has 15.9 million acres of forest land managed by a variety of county, state and federal agencies, and private landowners for timber production, wildlife habitat, and ecological considerations. Forest managers rely on inventory data to make effective planning and management decisions. Because forests are continually changing through natural and human processes, forest inventory data is periodically updated. However, doing so is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor and, as a result, much of Minnesota’s forest inventory data is currently out of date.
Co-sponsorship and assistance with a portion of the financial support for the 9th & 10th Annual International Lake of the Woods Water Quality Forum (Forum) to be held on March 7-8, 2012 and March 13-14, 2013 at the Rainy River Community College in International Falls, Minnesota. The Forum will feature the latest information on research conducted by Canadian and U.S. researchers regarding the International Lake of the Woods waters.
Funding supports an Irrigation Specialist to develop guidance and provide education on irrigation and nitrogen best management practices (BMPs). In this position, Dr. Vasu Sharma provides direct support to irrigators on issues of irrigation scheduling and soil water monitoring. She is collaborating on the development of new irrigation scheduling tools that help irrigators manage water and nitrogen resources more precisely. These tools help reduce nitrogen leaching losses in irrigated cropping systems.
This project will determine pre- and post-settlement nutrient trends from sediment chronology, fossil diatom assemblages, and from sediment profiles representing human history in the region (i.e., at least 150 years). Project activities include sample collection; sample preparation; diatom analysis; database creation and management; and data interpretation. Sample cores will be taken on the Lake of the Woods in five major bays (i.e., Four-mile, Muskeg, Sabaskong, Little Traverse, and Big Traverse) in the southern basin.
The purpose of this project is to gain an understanding of modern and historical nutrient and thermal dynamics in Lake of the Woods using modeling, monitoring, sediment core analysis, and whole basin techniques.
This project is to conduct water chemistry monitoring at two subwatershed sites and two major watershed sites in 2016 and 2017 based on flow conditions, targeting runoff events using protocols defined in the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) Standard Operating Procedures and Guidance. The data collected will be submitted to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and used for calculating pollutant loads.
With a perceived increase in the frequency and intensity of cyanobacterial algal blooms in Lake of the Woods (LOW), there has been an increased effort to collect information about the nature of algal blooms, nutrient concentrations and sources of nutrients to the LOW.
Native to the western United States and Canada, mountain pine beetle is considered the most devastating forest insect in North America. Trees usually die as a result of infestation and an unprecedented outbreak in the west is currently decimating pine forests there. While mountain pine beetle is not presently believed to reside in Minnesota, there are risks posed by an expanding species range resulting from warming climate and the potential for accidental introduction via lumber imports from infested areas.
The University of Minnesota will develop effective interview questions for community watershed assessments in the Rainy River basin and provide assistance in understanding the data collected through community interviews.
MN Legislative Clean Water Fund funding to engage citizens in local watershed monitoring, work with regional partners to promote understanding and protection of watersheds, and organize and facilitate gathering of scientific data all for the benefit of water quality in the Red River Basin.
Approximately 70 percent of all Minnesotans rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water. Wells used for drinking water must be properly sealed when removed from service to protect both public health and Minnesota’s invaluable groundwater resources. The Minnesota Department of Health protects both public health and groundwater by assuring the proper sealing of unused wells.
Clean Water funds are being provided to well owners as a 50% cost-share assistance for sealing unused public water-supply wells.
Native trout require clean, cold water that usually originates from springs, but the springs feeding the 173 designated trout streams in southeastern Minnesota are under increasing pressure from current and expected changes in land use. This joint effort by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is working to identify and map the springs and the areas that feed water to these springs and to learn how these waters might be affected by development and water use.