The Blue Earth SWCD will be monitoring 7 stream sites located in the Le Sueur River Watershed. The stream sites will be monitored at the road crossing locations via bridge, culvert or shore. Onsite conditions will be recorded, water sample readings will be taken for Secchi tube, specific conductance, temperature, pH, DO, and photos taken.
The goal of this project is to facilitate strategic networking, relationships, and learning in targeted groups to assess, build, and leverage community capacity (i.e. community resources and values) to increase knowledge of the Blue Earth River watershed’s water resources and increase best management practice (BMP) adoption to restore and protect water quality in the Blue Earth River watershed. Additional goals include providing information that is readily available to the general public for updates on Watershed Approach work in the Blue Earth River watershed.
With limited funds and limited staff time available for targeting critical service areas and implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs), Geographic Information System (GIS)-based tools that pinpoint locations where BMPs will have the highest effectiveness are increasingly important. The Blue Earth County/SWCD Watershed Implementation Targeting project will utilize LiDAR topographic data to determine areas of high importance for BMP implementation. The county is located in the Blue Earth, LeSueur, Watonwan and Middle Minnesota watersheds where there is a high density of impaired waters.
This project will conduct Inventory and Inspection of four drainage ditches in Blue Earth County: JD116, CD5, CD86 and CD56. The inventory of these drainage ditches is important in order to identify where erosion, sediment and/or nutrients contribute substantially to water quality degradation. The project will also prioritize sites for future side inlet control, buffer strip implementation, and/or storage and treatment implementation.
This monitoring project includes lake and stream monitoring and encompasses all of Cass County, and surrounding counties. The project will obtain water quality data for streams; in 2009, lakeshed assessments indicated that many surface waters throughout the county were data deficient. This project will address the need for sufficient data on a county-wide basis and fulfill the State’s intensive watershed monitoring program goals by obtaining water quality data at targeted lake and stream sites.
The LeSueur River has been identified as one of the leading contributors of sediment to the Minnesota River. A majority of this sediment has been determined to come from the banks, bluffs and ravines located along the river. This project focuses on a one mile reach of the LeSueur River where stream channel migration and mass wasting are significantly eroding four bluffs. Two township roads and many houses are in danger of falling into the river.
This project will provide Stressor ID work and assistance for the development of a work plan for the Major Watershed Project. The Major Watershed Project will include a plan for civic engagement and outreach, with assistance from ten Local Government Units from the Crow Wing River Watershed.
This project will initiate project coordination among project partners. It will enhance civic engagement and outreach endeavors activities to support Phase 2 of TMDL project. It will also support field activities associated with stressor ID work.
This project will collect a complete Trophic Site Index (TSI) data set for Crow Wing County lakes and a complete data set for streams and rivers for the Intensive Monitoring Program (IMP). Crow Wing County, Cass County, Wadena County, Morrison County and Hubbard County are partnering to ensure that all target lakes and rivers within the Crow Wing River watershed are monitored efficiently.
This project will provide additional monitoring data to be utilized in the watershed assessment process for the Le Sueur River Watershed Project. Blue Earth County SWCD will provide a technician to complete the water sampling for the sampling years 2011 and 2012 on the Maple River.
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 covers activities necessary to complete the major watershed restoration and projection project. The major objectives this project covers include contract administration, watershed coordination, stressor ID activities, identifying priority management zones, engage watershed citizens, and the creation of watershed restoration and protection plans.
The purpose of this project is to develop a framework to implement best management practices (BMPs) on ditches in headwater areas utilizing a partnership between drainage staff and the Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA). By replacing failing side-inlets with an alternative design, we can make strides towards our water quality and water quantity goals. The alternative inlets serve to prevent sediment and phosphorus from washing downstream and the design can also alleviate peak flows by temporarily storing stormwater.
The north-central Minnesota counties of Cass and Hubbard share large portions of the Crow Wing River, Leech and Upper Mississippi Watersheds, all of which play an important role in providing clean drinking water to over one million Minnesota residents. Each county assumes the responsibility of inspecting and evaluating the judicial and county ditch systems that drain directly into these watersheds. The two counties together share two judicial ditch systems and combined have an additional 42 ditches within their borders.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA) along with Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Counties, landowners, and drainage authorities in the ten member counties will install conservation drainage practices to improve water quality. 103E drainage systems with documented sediment or water quality issues are the focus with the goal of installing 52 practices such as improved side inlets (grade stabilization structures), alternative tile inlets, denitrifying bioreactors, saturated buffers, storage wetlands and others.
Approximately 70 percent of all Minnesotans rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water. Wells used for drinking water must be properly sealed when removed from service to protect both public health and Minnesota’s invaluable groundwater resources. The Minnesota Department of Health protects both public health and groundwater by assuring the proper sealing of unused wells.
Clean Water funds are being provided to well owners as a 50% cost-share assistance for sealing unused public water-supply wells.
The project will work with county and Waseca Soil and Water Conservation District staff to increase knowledge and participation in the Watershed Approach efforts and provide input to the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) document.
The Le Sueur Watershed Technician will provide highly focused targeting of conservation programs and practices in this key watershed. The technician will enhance current staff capabilities in the Le Sueur watershed by collecting landowner contact information, producing landowner mailings about funding opportunities, and meeting one-on-one with landowners to discuss conservation concerns they may have. This has been a highly successful method for targeting projects, project identification, landowner contact, and project follow through.
This project will provide additional monitoring data to be utilized in the watershed assessment process for the Le Sueur River Watershed Project. Monitoring will take place for an additional year at two sites along the Maple River.
This project involves monitoring three data deficient lakes in the Crow Wing River Watershed and one stream site at the inlet to White Earth Lake. The data deficient lakes were on the MPCA Targeted watershed list. After getting the required assessment dataset for these lakes, all targeted lakes in Becker County will be completed for this assessment cycle. The stream site is a site that the White Earth Lake Association and the Becker Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) will monitor. It is the inlet to White Earth Lake.
This project will collect water quality data for 13 Hubbard County lakes located in the Crow Wing priority watershed and identified as priority lakes by the MPCA. Upon completion the project data set will include all of the necessary information for the lakes to be assessed for impairment due to nutrients. Volunteers will collect samples from 7 of the 13 lakes and paid SWCD staff will collect samples from 6 of the lakes that do not have public access or volunteers willing to sample. The water samples will be collected 5 times/year June-September in 2010 and 2011.
The LeSueur River Watershed is one of the highest nutrient loading watersheds for both phosphorus and nitrogen in the State of Minnesota. The LeSueur River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) Report was completed in August 2015 and further identifies pollutant sources and reduction goals within the LeSueur River Watershed. The WRAPS report highlights the Beauford Ditch watershed and the Madison Lake watershed area amongst the highest sources of nutrient loading to the LeSueur River.
To be able to manage resources in the Blue Earth and Le Sueur Watersheds into the future and have a positive effect on water quality, resource managers need high quality accurate data to support decision making of best management practice (BMP) implementation. Digital elevation data is a valuable resource for modeling water flow, however in its current state it cannot represent water conveyance through features such as roadways. These flow barriers limit the accurate use of data for recently developed targeting tools identifying BMP suitability and effectiveness down to the field scale.
This project will collect water samples at seventeen monitoring locations ranging in size from 23,173 acres (7 Mile Creek) to over 9 million acres (Minnesota River at St. Peter) as a part of the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN). The Minnesota State University - Water Resources Center (WRC) has been directly involved with the program and is familiar with the streams and hydrology of the region. In addition to monitoring, the WRC will review, manage and submit the data in formats provided by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).