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 educate the local residents of the importance of groundwater protection and provide financial assistance to those who need to properly abandon their unused well. This project will also support the upgrade of nonconforming sewage treatment systems to reduce nutrient contributions to groundwater and surface water through groundwater permeation.
This project will continue the restoration of Osakis Lake and protect the water quality of the Sauk River by addressing stormwater runoff from urban and rural areas. Activities include assisting eight landowners in designing and funding their shoreland restoration and rain garden projects.
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 Discovery Farms program is a farmer-led effort to gather information on soil and nutrient loss on farms in different settings across Minnesota. The mission of Discovery Farms Minnesota is to gather water quality information under real-world conditions.
The Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) program identifies environmental contaminants for which current health-based standards currently do not exist or need to be updated, investigate the potential for human exposure to these chemicals, and develop guidance values for drinking water. Contaminants evaluated by CEC staff include contaminants that have been released or detected in Minnesota waters (surface water and groundwater) or that have the potential to migrate to or be detected in Minnesota waters.
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.
LEQA is a Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) program to help livestock producers address, using a non-regulatory approach, the unique water quality issues on their farms. The MDA has contracted with Ag Resource Strategies, LLC, to recruit farmers to enroll in the LEQA program. The company trains technicians to assess different areas of each farms, such as the farmstead, livestock facilities, fields and wooded areas. The technicians then develop an environmental assessment and identify financial assistance for these projects.
This Sauk River Watershed District project will conduct the Whitney Park river clean-up, adopt a river program and other community events as part of their healthy living programs; will collaborate with the city of St. Cloud to install a rain garden demonstration site at Whitney Park; use local radio and public television stations to promote the District’s “neighborhood rain garden initiative” and other incentive programs.
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 Platte River is listed by MPCA as impaired for fish bioassessments and water temperature. It is a recreational river used by many swimmers, paddlers and flotation users. The Platte is a major tributary to the Mississippi River which is the primary drinking water supply from St. Cloud to the Gulf. The Mississippi River segment immediately below Royalton is also impaired and therefore remedial efforts above are imperative.
The main outcome of the project will be the development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study that address total suspended solids/turbidity impairments of the Mississippi River (Swan River to Crow Wing River). Community outreach to communicate the results and strategies for restoration will also take place during this project.