The overall goal of this project is to perform water quality monitoring and load calculation duties to accomplish Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) monitoring efforts at the seven sites within the Redwood and Cottonwood River watersheds as well as the Minnesota River site near Morton. To accomplish this goal the requested funds will provide for technician’s time, mileage, lab costs, supplies, as well as equipment calibration and upkeep.
The Lake of the Woods (LOW) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study will: (1) identify water quality goals for the Minnesota portions of the LOW/Rainy River Watershed; (2) recommend nutrient allocations to achieve TMDLs where waters do not meet standards; and (3) provide opportunities for stakeholders to engage in the process of watershed-management planning to adopt protection and restoration strategies. The project will include existing in-lake and watershed model updates, TMDL component development, restoration plan development, and public participation.
The Rainy River - Rainy Lake, Rainy River - Baudette and Rapid River Watershed Assessments will include the waters of the Baudette River, Black River, Peppermint Creek, Rapid River, Rat Root River and Winter Road River in Koochiching and Lake of the Woods Counties. This assessment focuses on collection of water chemistry and field parameters at the 12 key sites identified and modified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Five of the sites will have extra total phosphorus and chlorophyll analysis completed as identified by the MPCA for collecting river nutrients.
This project will provide an important framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication in the International Rainy River-Lake of the Woods Watershed, which will contribute to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities.
In 2017 and 2018, Redwood-Cottonwood Rivers Control Area (RCRCA) will collect water chemistry samples from the 10 lakes and 24 stream sites identified in the Redwood and Cottonwood River watersheds. Six samples will be collected at 10 lakes from May through September in 2017; five samples will be collected at 5 lakes in 2018 from May through September. Eleven samples will be collected at each of the 24 stream sites following the Basic Regime in 2017. Sixteen samples at each stream site will be collected in 2017 and 2018 following the E.coli monitoring regime.
Lake of the Woods (LOW) is a resource with local, regional, state, and international significance and is the second largest lake in Minnesota. Over the past three decades the Warroad River Harbor in LOW has experienced severe sedimentation problems. The sedimentation has led to frequent dredging to remove excess sediment and protect this vital resource. However, it is unsustainable to continue dredging the harbor without also addressing the sources of upstream sediment within the Warroad River watershed.