This project targets nutrient reductions within the Mayhew and Big Elk Lake watersheds. The Benton Soil and Water Conservation District will work with farmers in implementing a variety of conservation practices including, but not limited to cropland erosion control projects, riparian pasture management, and nutrient management and feedlot pollution control systems. These strategies were identified through Total Daily Maximum Load Studies.
A completed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study has identified mid to late summer phosphorus loading as a significant stressor to lakes and streams within the Big Elk Lake watershed. While this comprehensive study serves its role as the unifying document that identifies pollutants and sources, further work is required in order to develop site-specific Best Management Practices, design these practices, and oversee their implementation in order to reach clean water goals.
The funds requested will provide Big Lake Township with the technical and financial assistance necessary to retrofit up to six locations for stormwater treatment practices within the direct drainage area of Birch Lake, an impaired water body which is very close to meeting state standards. The projects have been identified as high priority in several water quality plans including a TMDL, a subwatershed assessment, the County Water Plan and the Mississippi River (St. Cloud) WRAPS.
The Briggs Lake Chain Association (BLCA) is one of Sherburne County's most proactive lake associations. This sub-grant will provide for approximately 20-30 stormwater reduction best management practices on strategically targeted parcels previously identified as contributing to degraded water quality through Total Maximum Daily Loads, aerial lakeshore analysis and site-reviews conducted by the BLCA.
This project targets an older residential area that does not have permanent water quality practices. Storm water presently runs directly to the Mississippi River using out of date and under-sized infrastructure. Expanding upon a very successful pilot program for retro-fitting storm water treatment practices in residential neighborhoods, rain gardens will be strategically placed to maximize water quality benefits for each dollar spent. Each rain garden will have a pre-treatment device to help achieve the cost-effective long-term water quality goals of the City.
The Elk River Watershed Association (ERWSA) was formed to enable Sherburne and Benton Counties to work together to implement Local Water Management Plans. Since its formation in 1994, the ERWSA has primarily focused on working with land owners to reduce non-point sources of pollution within the watershed. Sherburne and Benton SWCD staff have extensive experience installing conservation practices. The ERWSA draws support from Sherburne County, Benton County, and local lake associations.
The Elk River Watershed Association Joint Powers Board, via the Sherburne Soil and Water Conservation District, will utilize project funds to implement a pasture and manure management program which will provide technical and financial assistance to large animal/hobby farm owners. Staff will work with identified landowners to implement bacteria reduction best practices such as pasture renovation/management, riparian buffer strips, clean water diversions, vegetated buffer strips, and manure management including composting structures.
Through a long standing partnership, this project will continue to implement a process formalized with a 2010 Clean Water Fund Grant to conduct stormwater sub-watershed assessments. The goal of the sub-watershed assessments is to accelerate water quality improvements by focusing efforts in high priority areas. Specifically, subwatershed assessments are a tool used to identify the most effective urban stormwater conservation practice by location.
It is critical to train new staff, create modeling protocols for new BMPs, refine and calibrate models, and test ever-advancing modeling applications. The Metro Conservation District?s (MCD) Sub-Watershed Analysis (SWA) program provides these capacity-building services and unites efforts across 11 SWCDs. MCD proposes to analyze an additional 15 subwatersheds. The analyses will identify the location and estimated cost/benefit relationship for BMPs, evolve with new technology, and share discoveries metro-wide.
This project combines the use of automated soil moisture probes for irrigation scheduling with diverse cover crop planting to reduce or eliminate leaching of nitrogen and other nutrients on cropland with an early season harvested crop in the rotation. The more efficient use of irrigation waters provides a secondary benefit: less withdrawal from the aquifers that provide recharge for the Mt. Simon-Hinckley aquifer.
The goal of the project is the reduction of nitrates in the groundwater by promoting and implementing best management practices and alternative management tools in the priority areas of Sherburne County. Practices included in the application are: Cover crops, irrigation water management , and nutrient management. Additional incentives included are for the Conservation Reserve Program. District Staff will also plant at least one acre of demonstration plots which will be highlighted at an annual field day.
Sherburne County's Local Water Management Plan identifies eutrophication of lakes (heavy algae blooms) caused by excess phosphorus, loss of aquatic vegation, and loss of riparian vegetation. Removal of natural vegetation near the waters edge in developed and agricultural areas has caused loss of fish and wildlife habitat, increased runoff, and allowed bank erosion. The District will address sources of phosphorus and sediment for three important surface waters in the County. In all, phosphorus will be reduced by 355 pounds and sediment will be reduced by 400 tons per year.