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.
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.
The goal of this project is to analyze and document database architecture, platform, table structures, systems and data fields at six Minnesota agencies (Board of Soil and Water Resources, Department of Natural Resources, MN Department of Agriculture, MN Department of Health, Metropolitan Council, and MN Pollution Control Agency) for 30+ databases related to water.
MECA will offer day sessions intended to educate permittees on the requirements for the MS4 permit. The sessions will be held in Vadnais Heights, Detroit Lakes, St. Cloud, St. Paul and Mankato Minnesota.
This monitoring work expands on previously established routine water quality and flow sampling to include extensive fish and aquatic invertebrate surveys. Subsequent steps include assessment of the monitoring data to determine impairments, identification of stressors that are causing impairments, development of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies using identification of pollutant sources using computer modeling and other techniques, civic engagement, and public education as approaches in progress towards water quality goals.
Locating the sources of sediment, phosphorus, and bacteria is integral to reducing the effect they have on a water body. The completion of the West Fork Des Moines River (WFDMR) Targeting and Prioritizing Endeavor will result in a set of data that is the most cost-effective for the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for all identified priority resources. The results will be expressed as the maximum reduction of a water quality contaminant (e.g. sediment, phosphorus, bacteria) at a priority resource (e.g. an impaired stream) for a given level of investment.