This project will support a civic engagement cohort that will be offered in southwest Minnesota to foster partnering and build capacity of local government, organizations, and residents for effective civic engagement in water protection and restoration. This project will also build networks and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection. The cohort will be administered through the Minnesota River Board (MRB), established in 1995 with a goal of focusing water management efforts on the local level.
The Discovery Farms program is a farmer-led effort to gather field-scale water quality information on different types of farms across Minnesota. The three pillars of the program are farmer leadership, credible research, and communicating results.
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 develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report as well as Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies where needed. The TMDLs will provide the quantitative pollutant load reduction estimates and a set of pollutant reduction and watershed management strategies to achieve water quality standards for the impairments within the watershed. Strategies for protecting the unimpaired waters within the watershed will also be included.
This project will complete a Watershed Restoration and Protection (WRAP) Plan that includes a set of pollutant reduction and watershed management strategies to achieve water quality standards for the listed pollutants, and that are understood and adoptable by local units of government and other stakeholders. This project will also provide an important water quality framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication, which will contribute to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities throughout the watershed.