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.
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).
Phase 1 of this project is primarily geared towards project planning and coordination among project partners, developing an initial civic engagement strategic plan, holding a watershed kick-off meeting, and gathering and summarizing available water quality data.
This project will focus on creating a watershed identity, monitoring & assessment, stressor ID assistance, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report development, Watershed Restoration & Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report development, watershed prioritization and targeting, and the continuation of the Civic Engagement components of the project. Currently, this watershed has seven listed conventional impairments (Lake Eutrophication); however, it is possible that additional stream impairments (up to four) may be identified during the IWM process.
The main outcome of the project will be the development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study that address total suspended solids/turbidity impairments of the Mississippi River (Swan River to Crow Wing River). Community outreach to communicate the results and strategies for restoration will also take place during this project.
The goal of phase 1 of this project is primarily to support organizational planning and coordination among project partners, forming and training a civic engagement team, creating a civic engagement strategic plan, holding two watershed kick off meetings and gathering and summarizing available water quality data. The completion of phase 1 will help provide significant momentum towards the completion of the future phases of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process.