The DNR is working with local communities and an interagency team to define, prioritize, and establish groundwater management areas in Minnesota. Groundwater management areas will have increased data collection and monitoring that allow the state and local communities to understand water supplies, uses, limitations, and threats to natural resources that depend on groundwater. This information will support detailed aquifer protection plans that ensure equitable and sustainable groundwater and drinking water use for the future.
This project builds on past successful civic engagement efforts and will focus in on critical problem areas, to both identify the contributing areas of pollutant and also outreach to identify the most likely landowner contacts and engagements for continued success in the watershed. Field monitoring will refine what is currently known about pollutant inputs. Several outreach events will target specific landowner groups to provide forums on best management practices in forestry management and lakeshore/riparian stream buffer management.
Minnesota has long been committed to preserving its natural heritage.
In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of Minnesota and other conservation organizations, the Minnesota Zoo plays a significant role in these preservation efforts by addressing pressing wildlife conservation issues important to our State.
The project will include lake monitoring on seventeen lakes found in the Mississippi River - Brainerd watershed in East Central Crow Wing County (CWC). The project will be conducted in an effort to gain data on these data-deficient lakes. One of the goals of the CWC Local Comprehensive Water Plan (CWP) is to establish a countywide Comprehensive Monitoring Plan (CMP). Surface water assessment monitoring will enable state 303(d) and 305(b) assessments and provide a better understanding of these lakes.
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.
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 DNR works with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health to determine the level of contamination from mercury and other harmful chemicals in fish from Minnesota's lakes and rivers and to track the success of efforts to reduce mercury pollution. Clean Water Legacy funding is being used to significantly increase (more than double) the number of lakes and rivers that are assessed for mercury contamination on an annual basis. Fish are collected during DNR fishery surveys, processed for laboratory testing, and analyzed for contaminants.
The Minnesota DNR and the Minnesota Forest Resources Council work with forest landowners, managers and loggers to implement a set of voluntary sustainable forest management guidelines that include water quality best management practices (BMPs) to ensure sustainable habitat, clean water, and productive forest soils, all contributing to healthy watersheds. This project will monitor the implementation of these forest management guidelines and BMPs on forested watersheds in MN.
The lab will analyze stable isotopes oxygen-18 and deuterium in water samples collected in streams, lakes, wetlands, groundwater, and point sources. This data can identify primary flow sources under varying flow conditions (low to very high flows). Identifying sources can help identify pollutant sources or locate areas that are in need of protection. For example, you may want to protect an area that contributes cold groundwater to a coldwater fishery. Or it could link a water chemistry impairment to a specific source.
This project encompasses surface water quality sampling within the Snake River Watershed over a period of two years (2017-18). This is the cycle II monitoring as follow-up to the original Snake River Watershed monitoring 10 years ago as part of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy Report (WRAPS). This project shall provide follow-up data on the waters in the Snake River Watershed in regards to changes in water quality over this 10-year cycle. The current sampling project will entail sampling 5 lakes and 11 stream sites.
The Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) is a tool that can identify water pollution problems based on the type and abundance of selected plants or animals. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) uses IBIs for fish and macroinvertebrates (stream-dwelling insects and other critters) in streams to help determine whether these waterways are impacted by water pollution. The DNR has developed a similar tool for fish in lakes and is developing a tool for aquatic plants. Both are used to help the MPCA identify lakes that may be impacted by water pollution.
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 develop, implement, and evaluate civic engagement activities within the Rainy River Headwaters and Cloquet watersheds. In addition, Lake County will also assist in expanding water quality monitoring efforts in support of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process.
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.
This project will establish a groundwater monitoring network in the 11 county metropolitan area. The network will provide information about aquifer characteristics and natural water trends by monitoring healthy aquifers (non-stressed systems). The project will also develop an automated system that captures groundwater level and water use data. This system will enhance evaluation of changes in aquifers that are stressed by pumping from existing wells.
The purpose of this monitoring project is to maintain water quality data collection, build upon existing data for Phase II of the Intensive Watershed Monitoring approach, and develop a better understanding of what impacts the rivers located in central Minnesota specifically in the North Fork Crow Watershed.
The objective of this project is to build on previous efforts aimed at determining the public health risk due to virus contamination in Minnesota groundwater. The Minnesota Department of Health will examine the occurrence of viruses in non-disinfecting groundwater sources in Minnesota as well as evaluate the association between source water virus occurrence and community acute gastrointestinal illness.
This project supports monitoring and assessment activities by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Environmental Outcomes staff and includes lab analysis, equipment, fieldwork, data management, and interpretation expenses associated with monitoring and assessment activities. The ambient groundwater monitoring network describes the current condition and trends in Minnesota's groundwater quality.
This project supports activities by Minnesota Pollution Control (MPCA) Watershed Division staff that provide technical assistance, project oversight, coordination, outreach and other agency activities associated with assessing, listing and conducting Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies throughout the State of Minnesota. Project also includes lab analysis, equipment, and fieldwork expenses associated with TMDL work at the MPCA.
This project supports monitoring and assessment activities by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Environmental Outcomes staff and includes lab analysis, equipment, and fieldwork expenses associated with monitoring and assessment activities within the described priority watersheds. Lake Monitoring: Lakes are monitored for nutrients, clarity and other information to provide the data needed to assess the aquatic recreation use support. Biological and Water Chemistry Stream Monitoring: Monitoring to assess the conditions of streams in each watershed.
The purpose of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's monitoring activities is to determine the presence and concentration of pesticides in Minnesota's groundwater and surface water. Monitoring information is used to characterize and assess the extent of pesticide impacts to Minnesota's water resources.
This project will establish a framework with the Pomme de Terre River Association (PDTRA), county staff, Soil and Water Conservation District staff, and state agencies that will outline their involvement throughout the development of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) for the Pomme de Terre River watershed. This work will form the basis to establish restoration and protection strategies that local governments and watershed organizations can use to make decisions that will lead to protecting and restoring the waters in the watershed.
The Pomme de Terre River Association will partner with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to conduct water quality monitoring in the Pomme de Terre River Watershed. The purpose will be to determine if waters meet the states non-point source pollution standards. The data collected will be utilized to produce the cycle two Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report and supporting documents for the watershed. Through the utilization of this funding a total of 11 lakes and 7 stream reaches will be assessed.
The goal of this project is to collect real-time, parameter data for specific conductance, water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and stream flow at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) gaging stations located at Fargo and Grand Forks, ND on the Red River of the North. The data will be published on the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) website.
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.
The Root River Field to Stream Partnership is comprised of farmers, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center, The Nature Conservancy, Fillmore and Mower County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Root River SWCD, Monsanto and academic researchers.Together, project partners are addressing the following key questions:What is the range of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus losses from agricultural fields on real farms in southeast Minnesota?What are the long-term trends and relationships between specific farming practices and water qualit
This project will augment data collection efforts for the Lake Superior South, Cloquet, St. Louis River, and Duluth Urban Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) projects. Activities include: attaining datasets for watershed stressors and geomorphic conditions, water quality gap monitoring, and civic engagement. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been collaborating with the South St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) to complete WRAPS related technical and civic engagement work in the Lake Superior basin for the past five years.
Stream flow information is essential for understanding the state of Minnesota's waters. Clean water funding has allowed the DNR to expand a network of stream gages that support planning and implementation for clean water protection and restoration. These gages are also used as part of the interagency Flood Forecasting/Warning System. This expanded stream gaging network has also significantly increased the real time data available to recreational water enthusiasts via the internet.
The goal of this project is to gather and collect necessary watershed data for the development of a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) for the Upper/Lower Red Lakes Watershed that includes impairments, their causes, and plans for restoration. Implementation of the WRAPS will maintain or improve water quality for the watershed.
The Watershed Health Assessment Framework is a web-based tool for resource managers and others interested in the ecological health of Minnesota’s watersheds. The framework uses five ecological components to organize and deliver information about watershed health conditions in Minnesota. The five components are: hydrology, connectivity, biology, geomorphology, and water quality.
Vermilion Community College will assist the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) with meeting the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) development objectives of collecting data and completing watershed assessments for the Rainy River Headwaters, Vermilion River, and Little Fork River watersheds. Services will include providing support for field water monitoring, other field sampling and measurements and related field data management, analysis, and assessments in these watersheds.