The Faribault Soil and Water Conservation District will provide mini-grants to conservation-conscious community organizations who voluntarily construct best management practices that provide storage and treatment of stormwater runoff at its source.
This project will address nutrient impairments of the Sauk River and Sauk River Chain of Lakes (SRCL) by minimizing runoff from 5 high priority feedlots. Specifically, contaminated runoff from 5 feedlots upstream of the SRCL will be eliminated. The sites were prioritized based on the Minnesota Feedlot Annualized Runoff Model index ratings and the location of these feedlots are within a Drinking Water Supply Management Areas.
The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District will hire an Accelerated Water Quality Technician to focus on projects in the Middle Sauk area showing the greatest pollution reductions. After identifying and prioritizing targeted sites with the highest pollution potential, the Stearns County SWCD will begin surveys and designs and complete them in a timely fashion while current implementation funds are available. The accelerated survey and design in Stearns County will relieve our natural resources of the current strain put on them by the environment and land use.
The Ashley Creek and Adley Creek Inventory Project will involve desk top analysis and a field scale inventory of riparian areas to determine priority areas to install erosion control Best Management Practices and vegetative buffers for nutrient reduction. Assessments will also be made for potential E.coli bacteria sources. Inventory data will be shared with local partners to further develop an implementation plan to address nutrient loading and the listed impairments on each creek.
With over 500 public water lakes in Becker County, we are blessed with abundant and diverse lake resources that, like those of much of lake country, are at risk of degradation due to increasing development pressures, redevelopment of non-conforming lots, rising stormwater runoff and land use changes within their watersheds.
The Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will engage citizen and nonprofit groups to enhance, improve, and protect Crow Wing County (CWC) lakes and rivers. To do this, the SWCD will partner with the University of Minnesota Extension, MN DNR, CWC, nonprofits, and lake associations to implement a mini grant program and provide grant funds to 20 community groups.
The Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will partner with citizen groups and nonprofit groups to complete projects to reduce stormwater runoff and retain water on the land in Crow Wing County's (CWC) 125 minor watersheds. The SWCD will implement a mini grant program and provide competitive grant funds to an anticipated 12 groups. This project will also address CWC Water Plan priorities one, two, and six, which involve stormwater management and sediment control, shoreline buffers, and agriculture best management practices.
The Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) proposes to partner with citizen groups and nonprofit groups to complete projects that will reduce polluted runoff and keep water on the land in Crow Wing County's (CWC) 125 minor watersheds. To do this, the SWCD will implement a mini grant program and provide competitive grant funds to an anticipated 12 groups. Citizens groups will use their innovation and creativity to apply for project funds through the SWCD.
The Chain of Lakes Targeted Reduction project will utilize Clean Water Funds to address bank erosion and install vegetated buffers along tributaries to the Eden Valley Chain of Lakes using the SRWD's incentivized Hayed Buffer Program. The Eden Valley Chain of Lakes (Vails Lake, Eden Lake and North Browns Lake) drain into the main segment of the Sauk River Chain of Lakes (SRCL) from the south. Impaired for excessive nutrients, this southern series of lakes is influenced by inflows from private ditches and perennial and intermittent streams.
The City of Cold Spring is looking to retrofit 24 acres of existing development within a 138 acre subcatchment of the City to improve the water quality of Cold Spring Creek, a designated trout stream. The large amounts of hard surfaces within the subcatchment area do not allow for rainfall or snow melt to soak into the ground. The stormwater carries with it sediment, bacteria, automotive fluids, and other pollutants. Cold Spring staff has frequently witnessed sediment plumes, the color of chocolate milk, at the storm sewer outfalls.
Crow Wing County, in cooperation with the municipalities within the County, plans to continue its successful well sealing program that pays 50% of the cost to seal unused/abandoned wells up to a maximum of $1000 per well. The amount of funding requested is $31,000 which is estimated to allow for the sealing of 80-100 wells. From 2012 to 2015, Crow Wing County sealed 65 wells as part of an earlier MDH well sealing grant from the Clean Water Fund. Priority will be given to wells located in or near existing wellhead protection areas.
The Sauk River Watershed District (SRWD) is the drainage authority for Stearns and Pope Counties. The SRWD manages 12 public drainage systems totaling over 90 miles. The majority of the public systems provide drainage for agricultural land uses and were constructed in the early 1900s.
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 Crow Wing River is a valuable natural resource and forested regions in the watershed are at risk from conversion to cropland and clearing for other uses. In order to maintain the high quality upland that protects the water quality, forestry practices are being encouraged with cost-sharing and education in an effort to manage, protect, and improve existing forest stands.
The purpose of this project is to identify effective irrigation and nutrient management best management practices and technologies and the barriers that prevent irrigators, producers, and other agricultural partners from adopting them in Otter Tail County. The primary goal is to reduce nitrate in areas where groundwater is susceptible to contamination as mapped by The Minnesota Department of Health by identifying effective BMPs and addressing the barriers to their adoption.
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.
This project is a cooperative effort between Crow Wing and Itasca County to contract with RMB Laboratories to generate 65 lake assessment/trend analysis reports. The watershed protection model is an innovative and proactive approach to water resource management which is geared towards prioritizing areas of concern, targeting implementation strategies, and measuring their effectiveness. These assessments are also useful and understandable tools for lake associations and the public.
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 Initiative is a nine-year plan to take a systematic approach to inventory and analyze all Public Waters within the County. Phase 1 includes identifying areas of concern through GIS analysis of current landuse along Public Waters, and the development of a database of non-compliant landowners which will be updated and maintained. Once landowners have been identified they will receive a joint letter and map stating that they may not be in compliance.
The purpose of this project is to develop a detailed tool that can be used in all watersheds within the Otter Tail and Becker counties to prioritize, target, and measure implementation practices at the field scale. The PTM App will significantly increase the targeting capabilities in Otter Tail and Becker Counties. The Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy has not been completed for Otter Tail County, yet, and the PTM App will be able to assist targeting and prioritizing when those documents are created.
The Douglas County Partners for Clean Water program enables community groups to take action and improve their water resources. Engaging citizens directly in project development and installation efforts provides immediate water quality benefits and cultivates a community of active stewardship.
Pope County Ditch 6 (CD 6) is an 18 mile channelized watershed and a primary tributary to Ashley Creek. CD6 and Ashley Creek are impaired for bacteria, dissolved oxygen and aquatic organisms. This project will address the storm water runoff concerns identified within this public drainage system in conjunction with repairs scheduled for 2017-2018. Alternative intake structures to manage nutrients and other practices, such as water and sediment control basins, will be installed to retain water on the upland properties and minimize flow rate and velocity.
Realizing the need for increased technical capacity in the field offices, the Becker, East Otter Tail and West Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation Districts have developed an agreement that will increase technical capacity while minimizing costs to each district. The first step was taken in this agreement through the recent hire of a shared engineer. Currently, minimal survey grade equipment is owned by the districts. This grant will be used to purchase an integrated survey system.
The Sauk River Chain of Lakes Community Partners Area has many lakes that are not meeting state water quality standards or are in jeopardy of not meeting standards and are in desperate need of runoff reduction strategies. The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District is eager to work with willing sponsors within the project area to educate, inform and expand the conservation culture to assist in siting and implementing water quality projects on the landscape.
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.
An effective regulatory program is key to the successful implementation of local land use and water management plans. Yet, county, watershed, and other state, tribal, and local agencies charged with enforcement and permit review often work in silos and infrequently coordinate with each other or share information. This leads to higher enforcement costs, conflicts between agencies, redundancy of inspections, property owner frustration, and reinforces negative stereotypes of regulatory agencies.
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.
Stearns County Ditch 26 (CD 26) is a 20 mile channelized section of Getchell Creek, a primary tributary to the Sauk River that is impaired for turbidity, E.coli and aquatic macroinvertebrate bio-assessment. The Stearns County Ditch 26 Drainage Management Project will address the stormwater runoff concerns identified within this public drainage system. Alternative intake structures to manage nutrients and mitigative measures will be taken to retain water on the upland properties and minimize flow rate and velocity.
This project represents the third septic inventory effort by Todd County. The four lakes included - Guernsey, Juergans, Little Sauk, and Long Lakes - are all designated by the Sauk River Water District's Sauk Lake Management Unit as high priority for water quality improvement. Three of these lakes are listed as water quality-impaired for nutrients and the fourth - Long Lake - has had periodic e.Coli problems documented in several tributaries. This project will allow Todd County to expand on previous evaluations of 13 other lakes.
The proposed work will be the fifth septic inventory effort conducted by Todd County and will include eight lakes, 431 parcels, and 277 established addresses. Three of the lakes - Cedar, Long Higgens, and Pauley are located in the Sauk River Watershed District's Sauk Lake Management Unit which is a high priority for improvement. These are the last three lakes of any size to be completed in the Sauk River Watershed portion of Todd County. Nitrogen and phosphorus levels are an issue through the watershed and this management unit in particular.
Crow Wing County is pursuing this grant to continue this proven community and landowner outreach campaign by developing new water planning tools and using print and social media strategies to effect a positive change in our watersheds. The County believes that landowners want to do the right thing and has the data to show that when doing the right thing can be presented in customer-focused, fact-driven, easy-to-understand format, they get engaged and conservation gets done!
The West Central Technical Service Area (WCTSA) serves 12 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) in west central Minnesota and has been experiencing increased workload due to greater requests from member SWCDs. This funding will sustain a limited-term technician and purchase related support equipment to assist landowners in implementing targeted, high priority practices that result in the greatest water quality outcomes.