The grant will use local data to develop stormwater planning options that prioritize, target, and measure the effectiveness of Best Management Practices and allow local city officials to make decisions on stormwater Best management Practices that reduce pollutants in the stormwatershed.
These funds are being used to systematically collect data and produce statistically valid estimates of the rate of soil erosion and tracking the adoption of high residue cropping systems in in the 67 counties with greater than 30% land in agricultural row crop production. Designed to establish a long term program in Minnesota to collect data and produce county, watershed, and state wide estimates of soil erosion caused by water and wind along with tracking adoption of conservation measures to address erosion.
These funds are being used to systematically collect data and produce statistically valid estimates of the rate of soil erosion and tracking the adoption of high residue cropping systems in counties with greater than 30% land in agricultural row crop production. Designed to establish a long term program in Minnesota to collect data and produce county, watershed, and state wide estimates of soil erosion caused by water and wind along with tracking adoption of conservation measures to address erosion.
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.
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.
Cedar and Farm Island are large recreational lakes located in the Aitkin/Brainerd Lakes area. Both lakes are showing significant downward trends in water clarity. The trend coincides with watershed development that increases water runoff. This project seeks to reverse that trend before these lakes degrade further and become impaired. Changing land uses now through incentives is a very cost-effective way to manage these lakes.
This project aims to reduce pollutant loading to Mille Lacs Lake by working with the City of Wahkon to develop a comprehensive stormwater management plan for the City of Wahkon, located on the south side of the lake. Wahkon has no stormwater facilities and pollutant laden runoff flows into Mille Lacs Lake, untreated. This project will delineate and model stormwater flow in the City of Wahkon watershed, prioritize and target BMPs in the city watershed and conduct outreach to keep all stakeholders informed and build buy-in for future project implementation.
This project will identify and prioritize opportunities to implement a multipurpose drainage management plan that will provide adequate drainage capacity, reduce peak flows and flooding and reduce erosion and sediment loading, improving water quality to the West Branch Rum River.
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.
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.
The Lac qui Parle-Yellow Bank Watershed District will contract with the Water Resource Center at the Minnesota State University in Mankato to complete a Geographic Information System (GIS) terrain analysis for the watershed. It will concentrate on the impaired reaches of the Lac qui Parle and Yellow Bank Rivers and tributaries. This inventory will utilize LiDAR elevation datasets to create many GIS datasets by spatially analyzing the elevation data.
Lake Shaokatan and its 13.9 square mile watershed is the headwaters of Yellow Medicine River, which is one of the thirteen major watersheds in the Minnesota River and the largest watershed in Lincoln County. The primary land use is agriculture with the major crops being corn and soybeans. The trend for significant soil loss is due to the nature of the topography with the highest point in the Yellow Medicine Watershed in Lincoln County being 1,960 feet and the lowest being 1,160 feet, a drop of 800 feet in 25 miles.
This grant will fund the creation of a new Coordinator position with a primary focus on the Mille Lacs Lake subwatershed. Although not currently impaired, the Lake faces increasing development and land use pressure. Implementation of protection strategies is essential to the Lake's long-term health but current staffing does not allow sufficient time to be spent on project development and outreach to identify interested landowners.
Northern white cedar wetland plant communities provide unique ecological, economic, and wetland functions, including high value timber, long-term carbon storage, winter refuge for deer and other wildlife, wildlife habitat, and thermal buffering for brook trout streams. However, these plant communities have been declining in Minnesota for decades mostly as a result of development impacts. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is using this appropriation to continue efforts aimed at improving the quantity and quality of white cedar wetland plant communities in Minnesota.
The Rum River is designated as a 'Wild and Scenic River' and is the major watershed in Mille Lacs County. Maintaining and protecting its water quality is a significant concern. The Clean Water Fund grant will result in the timely and successful implementation of ten nutrient management plans resulting in land management changes with an estimated average reduction of 30 pounds of Phosphorus and 40 pounds of Nitrogen per year on almost 2,000 acres.
Mille Lacs Lake is recognized as one of the premier walleye producing lakes in the world. The current water quality of the lake is good, however recent monitoring of the lake and its watershed indicates the potential to develop problems. Since 1997, the Mille Lacs Lake Watershed Management Group has worked to preserve the water quality of Mille Lacs Lake. Five priority projects were identified by the Group partners in an effort to preserve water quality. Support for these projects was provided by a grant from the Clean Water Fund.
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.
Del Clark Lake is a regionally unique resource in the Lac qui Parle Watershed. This grant contains both restoration and protection strategies aiming to maintain the quality of this rare and valuable resource in addition to restoring the recently impaired Canby Creek, which feeds into Del Clark Lake. Three grade control structures will be implemented just upstream of Del Clark to protect against sediment and aid in regulating flows. An estimate 240 pounds of phosphorous and 2,700 tons of sediment will be reduced annually.
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.
The Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District will partner with local lake associations and other eligible community partners to reduce the impacts of storm water runoff and retain water on the land. We will implement a mini-grant program that will install rain gardens and native vegetation buffers along shorelines using deep-rooted native vegetation that will filter runoff, promote infiltration, and control stormwater runoff and soil erosion.
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 purpose of the project is to reduce sediment and nutrient deposition in surface waters within priority areas of the watershed. A five percent reduction goal has been established in the County Local Water Management Plan and Impaired Waters project in progress. Eleven Best Management Practice (BMP) installations are planned for this project in cooperation with local landowners, Cities, Townships and Lake Associations.
The Project and Outreach Coordinator will facilitate efforts within the watershed to provide landowner support and assistance in identifying areas in need of conservation plans and best management practices. The coordinator would use the Watershed Protection and Restoration Strategy Report and county water plans to target and prioritize outreach and education to maximize water quality benefits. This will greatly multiply the number of educated landowners in the watershed and increase the number of projects implemented.
Imminent Health Threat (IHT) systems are those that are discharging improperly treated human waste onto the ground surface or into surface waters. In addition to the potential water quality impacts, untreated sewage has the potential to introduce bacteria and viruses into the environment. When IHT systems are identified, county or city staff assist the homeowners through the process required to bring their systems into compliance with the septic ordinance.
The soil and water conservation districts within the watersheds for the Redwood and Cottonwood Rivers have been putting conservation practices on the ground for years in a long-running collaborative effort.
Well-managed forests deliver the optimal quantity and quality of surface runoff and groundwater water recharge possible. This Forest Management and outreach program will help protect, preserve, and improve water quality and related water resources by hiring a Regional Clean Water Forester. The Forester will help LGUs in Technical Service Areas (TSA) 3 and 8 increase installation of water quality-related forestry practices.
The Southwest Prairie Technical Service Area 5 (SWPTSA), located in the southwest corner of Minnesota, encompasses 11 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs): Cottonwood, Jackson, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock, and Yellow Medicine. This project will protect natural resources within the three major river basins of Minnesota, Missouri and Des Moines Rivers. The SWPTSA will assist member SWCDs in locating and identifying priority subwatersheds that have soil erosion and water quality issues using terrain analysis.
Project partners play a vital role in the implementation of the Verdi Wellhead Protection Plan and have made this water source a priority in lowering nitrate levels. The aquifer used by the wells in the Verdi Well Field consists of a sand and gravel horizon about 30' thick which overlies clay-rich till. The geological sensitivity in all five of the Verdi wells is classified as "high".The Verdi Well Field supplies water to ten community water suppliers, 34 large rural users, and 1,126 rural hookups. Total population served by this water supply is about 7,500.
The Big Sandy Area Lakes Watershed Management Project has developed innovative projects to protect and improve water quality, wildlife, and the fishery resources in the Big Sandy Lake Watershed since 1991. Projects have focused on the main ecological problems and sources of nutrient loading to Big Sandy and other watershed lakes. A Clean Water Fund Grant provided funding for nine demonstration projects that continue this work. Projects planned for this area focus on controlling shoreline erosion and overland runoff that carries soil and nutrients to the lakes.
The Yellow Medicine One Watershed One Plan has identified Protecting and Preserving Groundwater Quality and Quantity as one of the three priorities addressed in the Plan. Seven priority sub-watersheds have been identified as priority areas, as well as two townships that have been identified by the Department of Agriculture to have vulnerable groundwater areas. Our goal is to provide 50% cost share to seal 34 abandoned wells that are located in these priority areas.
Twenty six easements protecting 1,173.3 were recorded which exceeded the original proposal by 173 acres (15%). 11.6 miles of shoreline were protected which exceeded the 8 acre goal by 30%. Total expenditure was $1,355,000 which was 17% lower than originally budgeted. No fee-title land acquisition opportunities on wild rice lakes that fit within DNR and other government agency land plans were available during this time period thus DU did not expend any of the $100,000 budgeted for fee-title acquisition. Instead the program focused on RIM easements.
The Yellow Medicine River Watershed District will contract with the Water Resource Center at the Minnesota State University - Mankato to complete a Geographic Information System (GIS) terrain analysis for the watershed using recently completed LIDAR data in southern Minnesota. Analysis will concentrate on the impaired reaches of the Yellow Medicine River Watershed and its tributaries. This inventory will utilize the State of Minnesota LiDAR elevation datasets to create many datasets through the analysis of this elevation data.
Over the years, the landscape of the Yellow Medicine Watershed has changed through drainage and loss of wetland areas. The Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Lincoln, Lyon and Yellow Medicine counties work cooperatively with the Yellow Medicine River Watershed District to oversee implementation of conservation practices in this watershed. Based on previous Clean Water Partnership diagnostic studies, it is known the river is receiving an excessive loading of nutrients, phosphorus and suspended solids. These conditions have led to declining dissolved oxygen levels as a result.