Demand for Engineering services in Northeast Minnesota's nine-county Area III Technical Service Area is exceeding the capacity to deliver the needed services. There are increased requests from Soil and Water Conservation Districts for engineering needed to design and install Best Management Practices in part due to requests related to Clean Water Fund projects. These funds will be used to hire an engineer, which will increase engineering capacity and result in the completion of at least five additional projects per year.
When completed, this Lake County-wide culvert inventory project will have multiple direct benefits to water quality protection, natural resource planning, and municipal asset protection. This inventory will be used to provide local and state authorities accurate information on the condition of road crossings, better calibrate hydrological modeling tools crucial to the inter-agency Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) process, and assess how road crossings in Lake County are affecting the water and sediment transport capacity of our waterways.
This project will implement timber stand improvement activities on over 300 acres of private forest land within the Knife River and Skunk Creek watershed; both are not meeting state water quality standards for turbidity. These activities will culminate in planting diverse, large-statured native trees, resilient in the face of forest pests and diseases, climate change, and deer browse. Through this project, significant areas of the Knife River and Skunk Creek watersheds will have a patchwork of seed sources that will naturally expand the footprint of a healthier forest.
This project is designed to complete an inventory and assessment of existing stormwater infrastructure in the cities of Two Harbors and Silver including mapping urban surface and sub-surface storm water flow to determine flow paths, pour points, and areas of limited storm water infrastructural capacity. The results of this assessment will be an assessment with prioritized and targeted opportunities for municipal infrastructure retrofits or best management practice installation on both public and private land.