With over 500 public water lakes in Becker County, we are blessed with abundant and diverse lake resources that, like those of much of lake country, are at risk of degradation due to increasing development pressures, redevelopment of non-conforming lots, rising stormwater runoff and land use changes within their watersheds.
The Beltrami SWCD proposes to partner with citizen and non-profit groups to complete projects that will reduce stormwater runoff and retain water on the land. The majority of the projects will be in the Lake Bemidji lakeshed which has recently been identified in the WRAPs project as being on the verge of impaired for nutrients. With the City of Bemidji being a regional hub for Northwestern Minnesota and the First City on the Mississippi, there are ample opportunities for citizen involvement and ample opportunities for stormwater improvements.
The overall goal is to develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) Report and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Study that will address water quality impairments and maintain or improve water quality throughout the Clearwater River watershed. The study will identify sources of pollutants to the streams and lakes, allocate pollution reduction goals, and prioritize and identify implementation strategies to maintain or improve water quality in key lakes and streams in the watershed.
Crow Wing County, in cooperation with the municipalities within the County, plans to continue its successful well sealing program that pays 50% of the cost to seal unused/abandoned wells up to a maximum of $1000 per well. The amount of funding requested is $31,000 which is estimated to allow for the sealing of 80-100 wells. From 2012 to 2015, Crow Wing County sealed 65 wells as part of an earlier MDH well sealing grant from the Clean Water Fund. Priority will be given to wells located in or near existing wellhead protection areas.
This project will provide Stressor ID work and assistance for the development of a work plan for the Major Watershed Project. The Major Watershed Project will include a plan for civic engagement and outreach, with assistance from ten Local Government Units from the Crow Wing River Watershed.
This project will initiate project coordination among project partners. It will enhance civic engagement and outreach endeavors activities to support Phase 2 of TMDL project. It will also support field activities associated with stressor ID work.
Deer Creek has been identified as an impaired water body. This project will quantify the reductions in pollutant loading that would be necessary to bring water quality in the creek to an acceptable level. The project also includes collection of any additional data needed for stream channel modeling scenarios.
The Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) program identifies environmental contaminants for which current health-based standards currently do not exist or need to be updated, investigate the potential for human exposure to these chemicals, and develop guidance values for drinking water. Contaminants evaluated by CEC staff include contaminants that have been released or detected in Minnesota waters (surface water and groundwater) or that have the potential to migrate to or be detected in Minnesota waters.
This project will support construction of three watershed framework models built using the Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF). These executable models will simulate hydrology at the subbasin scale. An HSPF model will be built for each of these major watersheds: Crow Wing River, Redeye River, and Long Prairie River.
Project between Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and United States Army Corp of Engineers at Knowlton Creek Watershed to address a large amount of sediment deposited into the St. Louis River Area of Concern (AOC).
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will coordinate the collection of high-resolution elevation data for northeastern portion of Minnesota using Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) systems. The geographic area of the work includes Minnesota counties of Carlton, Cook, Lake, and St. Louis Counties and that portion of Koochiching County that comprises Voyageurs National Park.
This project will support water quality monitoring and data analysis in nine major watersheds (8-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes) of the Lower Red River Basin. The monitoring will assist in providing water chemistry data needed to calculate annual pollutant loads for the Major Watershed Load Monitoring Program (MWLMP) and provide short term data sets of select parameters to other MPCA programs.
The purpose of this project is to improve understanding of primary productivity in the Red River and the diversity and population structure of the algal communities occurring along the river system. This will be accomplished through taxonomic identification of periphyton and phytoplankton assemblages necessary for characterizing responses to nutrient gradients along the Red River of the North.
The International Water Institute (IWI) will monitor 42 sites (3 basin, 12 major watershed, and 27 subwatershed) in the Red River and Upper Mississippi River Basins intensively during 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. There will also be 5 sites in the Red River Basin where mercury samples will be collected in 2016 and 2017 and sent to Minnesota Department of Health for analysis. The IWI will collect water samples across the range of flow conditions targeting sample collection at times of moderate to high flow.
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.
The Red Clay Project was a 1970's era project that encompassed watersheds in Northeast Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin draining to Lake Superior. In Minnesota, efforts focused on sediment retention structures in two subwatersheds of the Nemadji River Basin in Carlton County. Sixteen structures were constructed in the Skunk Creek Watershed and four structures were constructed in the Deer Creek Watershed. The design life of these structures was 10-25 years depending on the specific project and the design life has now been exceeded.
An effective regulatory program is key to the successful implementation of local land use and water management plans. Yet, county, watershed, and other state, tribal, and local agencies charged with enforcement and permit review often work in silos and infrequently coordinate with each other or share information. This leads to higher enforcement costs, conflicts between agencies, redundancy of inspections, property owner frustration, and reinforces negative stereotypes of regulatory agencies.
This project will complete the dataset necessary for assessment of water quality on Brooks Creek, Black River, Lost River, Poplar River, and Hill River. By monitoring these five sites, Red Lake County SWCD will have collected baseline information on all of the Streams/Creeks in Red Lake County.
This project will provide assessment data on the following five lakes: Venoah Lake, Spring Lake, Lac La Belle, Bear Lake, and Torch Light Lake (all within the Nemadji River Watershed and St. Louis River Watershed).
This project will provide the monitoring of reaches where there are data gaps, incorporate new data and analyze relevant data, identify pollutant sources, hold a stakeholder meeting, and gather information towards the future development of a Draft Restoration (TMDL) and Protection Plan.
This project will extend the simulation period for the Hydrological Simulation Program - FORTRAN (HSPF) models for the Grand Rapids, Brainerd, Crow Wing, Redeye, Long Prairie, Sartell, Sauk, St. Cloud, and Crow watersheds, and review and comment on the calibration.
Five locations will be monitored in support of the combined Vermilion Community College and Rainy River Community College 2016 – 2017 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) Sampling Agreement. Water samples, field measurements, field images, and other observations will be obtained at each location during each sampling event.