This project will obtain spatial and long-term pollutant load information from the Root River watershed in Southeast Minnesota. To accomplish this, the Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will assist the MPCA with water quality monitoring and annual pollutant loading calculations. Approximately 25 grab samples will be collected/site/year at 5 sites within the Root River watershed (totaling 125 grab samples/year). Annual load calculations for each site will be determined using the FLUX32 model.
The Winona County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) developed this project to help reduce the amount of pathogens and nutrients generated by livestock from reaching surface waters and groundwater by targeting feedlots located in areas that are highly susceptible to groundwater pollution and sinkhole formation.
The Nobles Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Nobles County Environmental Services will complete Level III feedlot inventories with manure management plan reviews through portions of the Rock River Watershed located within Nobles County. There are 133 registered feedlots in the Rock River Watershed portion of Nobles County including 62 open lots and 7 within shoreland. Rock County has completed level III feedlot inventories through the Rock River Watershed within Rock County borders.
County Ditch #8 (CD8) has been identified as an area of high erosion by the Freeborn County Drainage Authority and the Turtle Creek Watershed district. Project entails using conservation BMPs such as water and sediment control basins, grassed waterways, and alternative tile intakes to address gully and sheet and rill erosion concerns at the headwaters of CD8.
The Beltrami SWCD proposes to partner with citizen and non-profit groups to complete projects that will reduce stormwater runoff and retain water on the land. The majority of the projects will be in the Lake Bemidji lakeshed which has recently been identified in the WRAPs project as being on the verge of impaired for nutrients. With the City of Bemidji being a regional hub for Northwestern Minnesota and the First City on the Mississippi, there are ample opportunities for citizen involvement and ample opportunities for stormwater improvements.
Beltrami County will be updating their water plan in 2017. This plan will be watershed protection oriented and will utilize all available data and maps in order to best protect our water resources. In 2012, Beltrami County completed screening on 19 of our large lakes with heavy land use development. What we found was that none of the lakes had enough chemical data for a trend analysis.
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.
The goal is to facilitate strategic networking, learning, and implementation in targeted groups to assess, build, and leverage community capacity (i.e. community resources and values) to increase best management practice (BMP) adoption to restore and protect water quality in the Blue Earth River watershed
Once thought to have an essentially inexhaustible groundwater supply, Minnesotans are now realizing our rates of use are regionally unsustainable. Recent advanced modeling by the MN DNR and Metropolitan Council of aquifer supplies, in conjunction with predicted demand, indicate the major metropolitan area aquifers are currently subject to extraction rates that exceed recharge. Simply stated, we are mining our groundwater.
The Carver County Planning and Water Management Department (PWM) has an active well sealing cost share program. Following the adoption of the updated County Groundwater Plan in February of 2016, the Carver County Board of Commissioners moved to accelerate the program to encourage landowners to seal abandoned wells. Carver County is looking to supplement existing funds, as demand is expected to increase. With this additional funding, it is the goal of Carver County PWM to seal an additional 15 wells county wide.
The Cedar River Watershed District was established in 2007 to identify and fix the water quality impairments in the Cedar River. After several years of monitoring and modeling, the district has developed the requisite background data to drill down on the 25 most crucial areas for targeted treatment. In 2015, a Capitol Improvement Plan was developed to prioritize and rank the most critical projects within the priority list. The District is requesting Clean Water Funding to implement the highest ranking projects, which are shovel ready for timely construction.
In the battle to make real progress in sediment reduction to Turtle Creek, buffer strips are on the defensive front lines, holding the land at its most critical point. Grass strips along waterways have long provided a catchment area for agricultural field runoff. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has developed guidance and performance standards that utilize the maximum amount of benefit when installed through that program. In recent years, the Turtle Creek Watershed residents have faced a difficult decision over whether or not to incorporate grass buffers on their farms.
This project includes project planning, coordination, stream reconnaissance, and begins the effort towards civic engagement/outreach components of the South Fork Crow River Watershed project. Phase I will focus towards the development of project teams, identifying stakeholders, developing an initial civic engagement strategic plan and conducting limited lake and stream monitoring.
Nitrogen is a serious problem in Minnesota's Mississippi River Basin and the Dodge Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will address this problem through saturated buffers. Nitrates have been linked to adverse health effects, and nitrogen is the leading cause of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Agriculture drainage through the use of tile drainage systems have been identified as the number one leading source of nitrogen in the Mississippi River Basin.
This project will gather long term watershed data necessary for assessment, stressor identification work, and Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) development work for Elm Creek and the Blue Earth Watershed.
The Faribault County Soil and Water Conservation District Drainage Engineer will inventory public drainage ditches to identify priority systems and areas where erosion, sediment, and nutrients contribute to water quality degradation. Sites identified for potential side inlet control, buffer strip need, or water storage will be prioritized for landowner contact and follow through by seeking external funding opportunities.
Working with a consultant, a current online database to manage public drainage systems will be enhanced and a corresponding mobile inspection app will be developed to facilitate drainage compliance and improve inspection planning. With these improvements, a long-term, comprehensive, GIS-compatible database will be in place to help plan, collect, document, summarize, and analyze system condition, repair needs, and violations with the overall goal of protecting and improving water quality.
After 6 years of intensive baseline monitoring at 5 edge-of-field sites, 1 intermittent and 3 in-stream sites in 3 sub-watersheds representing the geomorphic regions of the Root River, the second phase of the project is well prepared for the implementation of BMPs. Continued monitoring will be used to measure the effectiveness of the BMPs for the next 6 years. In preparation for BMP implementation, extensive planning was completed using LiDAR terrain analysis and the Tomer Framework to prioritize practices.
For several decades, community members, lake associations, county officials, and local natural resource professionals have targeted Lake Wakanda in Kandiyohi County to improve water quality. This community led team, is working to address conservation issues within the watershed and the deeply degraded waters caused by years of altered hydrology, increased urban stormwater runoff, and increased agricultural pressures. This grant application is a phase I approach to resolving these issues by focusing on watershed management in Kandi Creek, a tributary into Lake Wakanda.
Martin Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is proposing to monitor six lakes sites and two stream sites in the Blue Earth River watershed. The lake sites will be monitored by kayak and the stream sites will be monitored from the shore. Sites will be analyzed for field conditions and water chemistry. Martin SWCD will subcontract with Faribault SWCD to monitor fourteen stream sites and with Blue Earth SWCD to monitor one lake site and three stream sites.
Ensuring natural resource practitioners are applying state-of-the-art approaches is the best way to achieve optimum Best Management Practice (BMP) selection, design, and placement in the landscape, thereby maximizing Clean Water Fund (CWF) benefits. To that end, it is critical to train new staff, create modeling protocols for new BMPs, refine and calibrate models, and test ever-advancing modeling applications.
The Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead on implementing conservation practices that protect water quality. Those who implement and maintain approved conservation practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years. This program will help address concerns about changing regulatory requirements from multiple state and federal agencies.
The purpose of this project is to complete Intensive Hydraulic Conditioning on the remaining 60% of the watershed to be able to utilize the Prioritize, Target, and Measure application (PTMApp). The basin has 1.1 million acres of drainage with approximately 630,000 acres remaining to be hydro conditioned. With the advancement in targeting pollution sources within the watershed and state, the partners intend to be able to more accurately target conservation practices with the hydraulic conditioning completed.
Ninety percent of the land in Mower County is used for agriculture. The County ranks 10th and 13th in the State for corn and bean production, making much of the land vulnerable to erosion due to the planting of row crop. As a result, streams and ditches in the county see high sediment loads.
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.
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.
This project will, over a 27 month period, fund a 0.75 Full Time Equivalent Conservation Planning Specialist position to update approximately 400 United States Department of Agriculture Highly Erodable Lands conservation plans on 40,000 acres in high priority areas within the Root River watershed. Currently, only 5% of the USDA conservation plans -approximately 40 per year - are being checked for compliance, and this project will increase that number to 150 or more per year.
The purpose of this project is to improve understanding of primary productivity in the Red River and the diversity and population structure of the algal communities occurring along the river system. This will be accomplished through taxonomic identification of periphyton and phytoplankton assemblages necessary for characterizing responses to nutrient gradients along the Red River of the North.
The Root River Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) project will continue existing efforts to calculate seasonal pollutant loads for the Root River. The Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will assist the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) with water quality monitoring and pollutant load calculations for five subwatershed sites. Approximately 50 grab samples per site (total of 250) between ice-out and October 31 of 2016 through 2019 will be collected along with field measurements and observations.
The Root River Field to Stream Partnership is a collaborative effort led by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in partnership with Fillmore, Mower, and the Root River Soil and Water Conservation Districts, local farmers, crop advisers, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center, and the Nature Conservancy. Together, project partners are addressing the following key questions:
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 lack of sewage treatment in many small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Ten of these small communities will be the target of the technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes which are discharging raw sewage directly into the environment, surfacing sewage, or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
The lack of sewage treatment in many small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Fourteen of these small communities will receive technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes which are discharging raw sewage directly to the environment, surfacing sewage, or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
The goal of this project is to investigate nitrate transport and the sources of nitrate in karst for more effective implementation of best management practices that will reduce nitrate concentrations in ground and surface water.
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 assure that buffer strip compliance is being followed throughout the system. It will identify areas that will work to keep excess sediment and nutrients out of the water and provide a good strategy for cleaning the water and reducing costs to the system long term. More importantly, it provides an opportunity to have dialogue with landowners along the entire ditch and communicate the importance of buffers and conservation practices such as detainment areas and catchment Best Management Practices that keep the soil out of the system.
The Cannon River is a designated Wild and Scenic River that originates in Rice County and joins the Mississippi River 120 miles downstream near Red Wing. The Upper Cannon, which encompasses 29% of the entire watershed, has been identified as a priority subwatershed.