These funds are being used to systematically collect data and produce statistically valid estimates of the rate of soil erosion and tracking the adoption of high residue cropping systems in in the 67 counties with greater than 30% land in agricultural row crop production. Designed to establish a long term program in Minnesota to collect data and produce county, watershed, and state wide estimates of soil erosion caused by water and wind along with tracking adoption of conservation measures to address erosion.
This project targets nutrient reductions within the Mayhew and Big Elk Lake watersheds. The Benton Soil and Water Conservation District will work with farmers in implementing a variety of conservation practices including, but not limited to cropland erosion control projects, riparian pasture management, and nutrient management and feedlot pollution control systems. These strategies were identified through Total Daily Maximum Load Studies.
Little Rock Lake experiences severe algae blooms due to excess phosphorus and these blooms are the worst known regionally. The goal of this project is to reduce algae blooms, improve water clarity, and avoid risk of drinking water contamination. The project will result in installing one farmer nutrient management project , four cover crops, two lakeshore buffer strips, six septic systems that also demonstrated an imminent threat to public health, six erosion control projects , one wetland restored, and one feedlot runoff control system.
A completed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study has identified mid to late summer phosphorus loading as a significant stressor to lakes and streams within the Big Elk Lake watershed. While this comprehensive study serves its role as the unifying document that identifies pollutants and sources, further work is required in order to develop site-specific Best Management Practices, design these practices, and oversee their implementation in order to reach clean water goals.
The Benton County Water Plan advisory committee has the goal of protecting groundwater resources in Benton County. One of the methods identified is to seal unused wells. In 2013, Benton Soil and Water Conservation District completed an aggressive campaign to identify unused wells. We used several sources to locate potential wells, completed site visits for many wells and collected site information to assisting in prioritizing limited cost share resources.
These funds are being used to systematically collect data and produce statistically valid estimates of the rate of soil erosion and tracking the adoption of high residue cropping systems in counties with greater than 30% land in agricultural row crop production. Designed to establish a long term program in Minnesota to collect data and produce county, watershed, and state wide estimates of soil erosion caused by water and wind along with tracking adoption of conservation measures to address erosion.
These funds will be utilized in cost-share for landowners to install Agricultural Best Management Practices following Little Rock Lake TMDL Implementation Plan. Example of projects include Feedlot Improvements, Waste Storage Facilities, Erosion Control BMPs, Filter Strips and Streambank Stabilizations. An estimated 830 pounds per year of phosphorus and 800 tons of sediment will be reduced annually.
The goal of this project is to achieve a 10% reduction in overall sediment discharge to the Mississippi River from the Northeast St. Cloud Drainage Area by installing one regional underground stormwater detention and treatment facility in partnership with a Neighborhood Redevelopment Project. The project will have over 16,000 cubic feet of water storage capacity treating 35 acres of stormwater runoff and is modeled to reduce sediment by 4.5 tons, which is 10% of the sediment reduction goal for this drainage area.
This project continues water plan activities from a 2007 Clean Water Legacy grant and initiates a multi-county project to restore hydrology and water quality in an impaired trout stream.The first goal of this project is to reduce the impacts of animal manure and fertilizer on surface and groundwater by installing low cost feedlot improvements and targeted manure management planning.
This project addresses the northeast St. Cloud drainage basin, the highest priority in the St. Cloud Stormwater Management Plan. St. Cloud has observed and documented ongoing sediment loading to the Mississippi River from the 367 acre watershed. The project is also a companion to the Green Roofs Blue Waters program in which several sediment reduction BMPs are being identified and installed along the Mississippi River.
The Elk River Watershed Association (ERWSA) was formed to enable Sherburne and Benton Counties to work together to implement Local Water Management Plans. Since its formation in 1994, the ERWSA has primarily focused on working with land owners to reduce non-point sources of pollution within the watershed. Sherburne and Benton SWCD staff have extensive experience installing conservation practices. The ERWSA draws support from Sherburne County, Benton County, and local lake associations.
Currently, there are approximately 5,050 feedlots with fewer than 300 animal units that need to come into compliance with State feedlot rules. Clean Water Feedlot Water Quality Management Grant funds are being used to provide financial assistance to landowners with feedlot operations less than 300 animal units in size and located in a riparian area or impaired watershed.
Little Rock Lake,in Benton County, is negatively impacted for nutrients. Little Rock Lake is a significant regional recreational lake. Toxins released by blue green algae blooms have been the highest ever measured by the Minnesota Department of Health. Given the importance of this resource and the severity of the water quality problems, obtaining tangible water quality improvements is a high priority in the Benton and Morrison County local water management plans.
Little Rock Creek, a cold-water trout stream in central Minnesota, is impaired due to the lack of trout and other cold water fish. The trout are absent because of high water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen and high nitrate levels, stressors caused from a lack of base flow and overuse of groundwater. This project continues a 2011 initiative to assist irrigators in the Little Rock Creek groundwater recharge area with managing the timing and amount of irrigation applied to their crops.
The Little Rock Lake Total Maximum Daily Load study has identified areas in the watershed where phosphorus reduction is needed and what best management practices need to be applied. This is a coordinated implementation effort with Benton and Morrison Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Little Rock Lake Association, the livestock industry and other partners to install best management practices at numerous sites to continue cleaning up Little Rock Lake.
The water quality and recretional value of Little Rock is negatively impacted by phosphorus. One important strategy involves reducing the quantity of phosphorus imported to the watershed through animal feeding operations. Farm management strategis coupled with traditional conservation practices will reduce surface runoff and phosphorus transport from feedlots and fields. This project will assist corporate poultry industry and local farmers to put into practice animal feed management strategies that reduce the amount of phosphorus contained in chicken feed rations.
The Benton County Local Water Management Plan's first priority concern is feedlot and nutrient management. Our objective is to reduce or minimize the negative impact of animal manure and fertilizer on surface and ground water by increasing the adoption of feedlot, manure, fertilizer and pasture best management practices.
The Benton SWCD is applying to use Clean Water funds to work with livestock producers in implementing a variety of BMPs including, but not limited to cropland erosion control projects (water and sediment control basins, grade stabilization structures), extending buffers where appropriate to exceed state buffer laws, riparian pasture management and conversion to other uses, nutrient management and feedlot pollution control systems. Our goal is to reduce runoff from these sites and improve water quality within the Mayhew Lake and Big Elk Lake watersheds.
Little Rock Creek is the only trout stream in the Benton and Morrison County area. The creek has supported a wild brown trout population since they were introduced into Little Rock Lake in 1908. A population assessment done in 1992, however, failed to document the presence of brown trout suggesting that population may have become critically low during the drought years of the late 1980's and early 1990's. The stream has since been listed as impaired due to the low abundance of trout and other cold water fish.
Successful long-term treatment of sewage depends on a system capable of providing adequate treatment and effective on-going operation and maintenance. Clean Water Fund Subsurface Sewage Treatment System (SSTS) Program Enhancement funds are used by counties to strengthen programs dedicated to SSTS ordinance management and enforcement. These funds are used for a variety of tasks required to successfully implement a local SSTS program including inventories, enforcement, and databases to insure SSTS maintenance reporting programs.
Grants to counties to implement SSTS programs including inventories, enforcement, development of databases, and systems to insure SSTS maintenance and of reporting program results to BWSR and MPCA and base grants.
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.
This proposal will fund technical assistance for nutrient management planning to accelerate water quality improvements with the 12-county West Central Technical Service Area (WCTSA). A needs assessment identified an estimated 156 certified nutrient management plans that will be needed over a 3 year period. Of the 71 SWCD employees in the WCTSA, only 1 SWCD staff member is dedicated to nutrient management planning. To meet technical assistance needs, this grant will fund a Regional Planning Specialist (RPS) to address local resource concerns.