The goal of this project is to use the We Are Water MN exhibit and their technical knowledge in relationship-building and storytelling to increase community capacity for sustainable watershed management in the Cannon River, Cedar River, Mississippi-Headwaters, Mississippi-Grand Rapids, Mississippi-Twin Cities, Red Lake River, Rum River and St. Louis River watersheds.
The project provides the opportunity for the North Saint Louis Soil and Water Conservation District (NSLSWCD) to engage in efforts to increase public participation in the St. Louis River Watershed and participate in the planning and technical review of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) process. NSLSWCD contains the headwaters of the St. Louis River Watershed. The District’s knowledge of the area, communities, and organizations puts them in a unique position to work cooperatively in the watershed.
This project will gather watershed data necessary for the development of a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report to maintain and improve water quality for the St Louis River Watershed.
The St. Louis River watershed is one of the largest watersheds in northern Minnesota and the largest single contributing watershed to Lake Superior. Surface waters are abundant with 353 lakes and 97 streams segments. Large areas of forest and wetlands help to sustain areas of exceptional water quality. However, land use changes have degraded many lakes, rivers, and streams. 21 stream reaches have aquatic life impairments, as identified by high turbidity (1 reach), poor quality aquatic macro-invertebrate community (16 reaches), and/or poor quality fish community (12 reaches).
Several important milestones will be completed during this phase of the Mississippi River (Headwaters) Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) project. These milestones will include the completion of the Stressor ID & Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Reports, the completion of the Zonation Modeling watershed priority planning process (through the continuation of the Civic Engagement project component), and the development of the overall WRAPS report.