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 provide fiscal resources for South St. Louis County Soil and Water Conservation District (SSLCSWCD) to participate and lead efforts to attain geomorphic data sets, dissolved oxygen assessments, culvert inventory, and civic engagement activities in three major watersheds, Nemadji River, South Lake Superior and St. Louis River. This work is currently being worked on as a part of the MPCA’s Watershed Restoration and Protection Planning efforts.
Beginning in June 2019, the St Louis River Watershed will start the second round of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) process. This project helps the Carlton County SWCD (SWCD) initiate a broader citizen participation process in the Watershed. The SWCD staff will be enabled to create a greater degree of public interest in and awareness of the general health of the Watershed. This work will create the foundation for greater citizen involvement in the planning and implementation of restoration and protection activities in the Watershed.
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).
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.