This project will fully fund three Nonpoint Engineering Assistance (NPEA) Joint Powers Board positions in cooperation with the NPEA Base Funding anticipated at $130,000 per year. This will allow a 2nd Professional Engineer to be retained in addition to a Lead Engineer and Technician. This 'accelerated' engineering previously was funded with BWSR Challenge Grants, and an EPA319 grant with corresponding BWSR CWF Matching Grant to handle the high workload associated with the large number of BWSR feedlot cost-share projects approved in South East Minnesota.
This project will extend two Feedlot Technical positions initially created and funded by a FY2011 CWF Feedlot Water Quality Grant that assess and help fix animal waste runoff from small feedlots. The technicians will work with and under the Technical Authority and priorities of the South East Soil and Water Conservation District Tech Support JPB lead Engineer. This project will enable more projects to be constructed resulting in a reduction of nitrogen, phosphorus and fecal coliform runoff into surface and ground water in South East Minnesota and the Mississippi River.
The Cannon River Watershed is a diverse watershed from the standpoint of topography, land use, and land cover, but a central issue of concern is increased sedimentation and turbidity within the river. One of the best ways to keep sediment from entering the Cannon River is to install vegetative buffers on the smaller tributaries in the upper reaches of the watershed. This project is important as it aims to help identify strategic locations where buffers are needed and to assist landowners to install buffers that will directly help reduce sedimentation within the watershed.
This project will place the Cedar River watershed on a sustainable and clearly understood implementation process for comprehensive water management. All people living in the watershed and all groups operating and managing land in the watershed, are responsible stakeholders in the effort. Objectives for this phase of the project include:
1. Develop a comprehensive watershed restoration and protection strategy.
2. Continue development of a more coordinated and comprehensive citizen participation process.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Environmental Financial Group Inc. generated a matrix of water conservation programs with detailed information about the costs and benefits of the programs. Tools were also developed to allow users to calculate potential water savings, estimate program implementation costs, and test the effects of various water conservation programs and rate structures.
This project will build upon existing planning and implementation efforts already taken on in the project area. The collection of existing information will be used to complement water information in support of a more successful and sustainable water quality improvement and protection implementation program. This will be achieved by active civic engagement activities throughout Phase I of this project.
This project will provide cost-share funds to landowners in vulnerable groundwater areas for the incorporation of cover crops in their crop rotation and to provide education related to nitrogen BMPs through field trials and Nutrient Management Plans. An anticipated 100 producers in highly vulnerable areas, will plant 3,000 acres of cover crops resulting in preventing potentially 19,800 pounds of nitrate from leaching into groundwater.
Currently, there are approximately 5,050 feedlots with fewer than 300 animal units that need to come into compliance with State feedlot rules. Clean Water Feedlot Water Quality Management Grant funds are being used to provide financial assistance to landowners with feedlot operations less than 300 animal units in size and located in a riparian area or impaired watershed.
BWSR will administer funding to eligible County projects that provide funds and other assistance to low income property owners to upgrade or replace Noncompliant Septic Systems. BWSR will also manage annual reporting completed by each County.
This project will provide additional monitoring data to be utilized in the watershed assessment process for the Le Sueur River Watershed Project. Monitoring will take place for an additional year at two sites along the Maple River.
The Lower Mississippi River Feedlot Management in MN project will be leveraging State funding from BWSR to provide match for a United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) Regional Conservations Partners Program (RCPP). BWSR will provide technical and financial assistance to plan and design projects to mitigate feedlot runoff from smaller (less than 300 animal units or AUs*), open lot feedlots in southeastern Minnesota.
This project will assist farmers across Southeast Minnesota by providing guidance on management of nutrient sources including livestock manure, commercial fertilizers, and legumes. This project is important because excess nutrients and bacteria are causing negative impacts to the quality of waters. Two Nutrient Management Specialists will work one-on-one with farmers to develop 70 plans each year. Over time, it is anticipated that the number of new nutrient management plans will decrease as acres with plans increase.
Within an 11-county area in southeastern Minnesota, two Nutrient Management Specialists will work directly with producers to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and fecal coliform runoff into surface and ground water in the region and the Mississippi River. The specialists will help producers create or revise nutrient management plans, implement Best Management Practices for manure and fertilizer use, and set up on-farm demonstration projects to support farmer-to-farmer learning.
The Straight River runs through Owatonna and is considered a priority water resource for the city. Untreated stormwater from city roofs, streets and parking lots are jeopardizing the water quality of river. Through this project, the city will install four rain gardens in city parks that will capture and rapidly absorb stormwater runoff from streets and driveways. The implentation of these rain gardens throughout the city will reduce the volume of stormwater entering the Straight River.
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.