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.
This project will offer incentives to protect 80 acres of land in filter strips and highly erodible lands adjacent to the rivers; construct 9 sediment and water control basins or terraces; replace 35 open tile intakes and advocate wetland restorations and grassland easement programs; organize a Friendship Tour to bring together Minnesota farmers, county commissioners, farm organizations, local, state and federal agency personnel to experience the watershed, farming practices, discuss future project ideas and strengthen relationships; and upgrade 37 subsurface sewage treatment systems by off
The primary goal of this project is to partner with stakeholders in the development of a comprehensive Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) report to be used on the local level. Achieving this goal will require sound working relationships between local government units (LGUs), watershed citizens, and state and federal government. Gathering input from these groups will be critical when the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) drafts a WRAPS Report that can be utilized by local decision-makers.
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.