The Pomme de Terre River Association has targeted and identified specific areas and activities required for marked water quality improvement. This project will implement of 16 Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCOBs), 28 Rain Gardens, 2 Shoreline/ Stream bank stabilization, 10 Waste Pit Closures, 1 Terrace Project, and the enrollment of 1900 acres into conservation practices. These practices in total will directly result in site-specific and watershed-dependent reductions of 17,801 tons of sediment and 17,784 pounds of phosphorous from entering surface waters yearly in the watershed.
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.
The goal of the Pomme de Terre River Association (JPB) is to improve the local water resources within the watershed through targeted voluntary efforts and the building of strong relationships with local landowners, producers, and citizens. The Pomme de Terre River is currently not meeting state water quality for sediment. The purpose of this project is to strategically work towards a 53% sediment reduction goal at the mouth of the Pomme de Terre River based on a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy document.
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.
The Accelerated Water Quality Project Implementation Program will increase the connection between landowners, local government units and the landscape to accelerate efforts addressing non-point source loading to surface waters throughout the Red River Valley Conservation Service Area.
The Becker County Drainage Ditch Inventory and Inspection Project is a collaborative, multifaceted approach to develop a GIS-based drainage ditch inventory database system, inventory the current conditions of judicial ditches and adjacent land, and target and prioritize portions of each ditch system for restorative or protective measures.
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.
Multiple water courses in the Buffalo River - Red River Watershed District are impaired for turbidity. These waterways include the Red River of the North, Wolverton Creek, Deerhorn Creek, Stoney Creek, South Branch Buffalo River, and the main stem of the Buffalo River. This project will provide a means of prioritizing areas of the watershed to implement conservation practices to reduce overland runoff contaminant loadings contributing to water quality impairments.
Erosion is a serious water quality issue found throughout the Buffalo-Red River Watersheds rivers and tributaries. Excessive erosion occurs in the beach ridge area where the land naturally has excessive slopes. The beach ridge area consists of sand and gravel deposited by wave action along the shoreline of Lake Agassiz at various times as the lake level rose and fell. The sand and gravel soils, combined with the relatively steep slopes of the area can be susceptible to erosion.
During the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's 2011 lake assessment process nine shallow lakes located in the Buffalo-Red River Watershed in western Becker County were determined to be impaired for excessive nutrients primarily from agricultural runoff. Located in a heavy agricultural production area, this project will address agricultural stormwater runoff by installing 50 water and sediment control basins and 20 acres of vegetative buffer strips adjacent to the lakes. Fifteen landowners with a potential for 26 water and sediment control basin sites have already been identified.
Funds are to be used to protect, enhance and restore water quality in lakes, rivers and streams and to protect groundwater and drinking water. Activities include structural and vegetative practices to reduce runoff and retain water on the land, feedlot water quality projects, SSTS abatement grants for low income individuals, and stream bank, stream channel and shoreline protection projects. For the fiscal year 2012, BWSR awarded 13 local governments with funds to complete 143 projects. More information is available in the detail reports below.
The Floyd chain of lakes is of economic significance to the Detroit Lakes region providing great game fishing, boating and other summer and winter recreational opportunities. Decades of nutrient loading into North Floyd from the surrounding Campbell Creek area has led to a decrease in water quality. The same is true for the Buffalo River portion of this project area.
In 2002, citizens began to notice severe algal blooms in Cedar Lake, a high value recreational lake with exceptional clarity and fisheries habitat. Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD) began an intensive monitoring program in 2003 to identify nutrient sources and protect Cedar Lake. Through intensive lake and watershed monitoring, CRWD identified the major source of nutrients to the lake. Three nutrient impaired shallow lakes; Swartout, Albion and Henshaw Lakes, in the upper watershed and impaired wetlands discharge excess amounts of soluble phosphorus.
A partnership of local, state and federal organizations has used multiple funding sources to target nonpoint pollution reduction efforts to the Hay Creek Watershed, a 24-square-mile area in Becker County that features several high- quality lakes. Clean Water Legacy grants were received in 2008 by the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District and in 2011 by the Becker SWCD. The grants leveraged both local and federal dollars, and it built on previous efforts to identify locations where conservation projects could provide the greatest benefits for water quality and wildlife habitat.
Bejou, Shoe and Dahlberg lakes are located in the upper reaches of one of the most popular fisheries in the region, the Cormorant Lakes chain.
Water quality issues impacting Bejou Lake were identified through the use of aerial photography. Results determined that a significant amount of sediment was being deposited into Bejou Lake from the 84 acre adjacent watershed. Several areas where water, sediment and erosion control basins could greatly reduce the amounts of sediments being delivered to the lake were identified.
In an attempt to protect existing exceptional lake and wetland resources, the Cormorant Lakes Watershed District (CLWD) is proactively implementing erosion and sediment control practices. At the present time, since none of the lakes are impaired but development pressure is increasing, a non-degradation strategy is necessary to ensure the desired long-term water quality in the District's lakes.
The purpose of this project is reduce peak flows in the North Fork of the Crow River through culvert sizing. Culvert sizing will typically result in smaller culverts, which will provide short-term temporary storage within channels and on adjacent lands upstream from road crossings. In addition to reducing peak flow rates, flood damage and downstream erosion, increased sediment and nutrient removal through extended detention time is expected.
The Otter Tail River serves as the main drinking water supply for the city of Fergus Falls. The community recognizes it as a valuable resource which needs to be protected. The lower reach of the Otter Tail River is listed as being impaired for turbidity(muddiness).
Many of the aquifers that are located under Otter Tail County are susceptible to contamination from nitrates and other water soluble contaminants due to the coarse grained soils of the area. These aquifers are used by municipalities and rural residents. One of the common agricultural practices in the area that can have an effect on these aquifers is agricultural irrigation. Over application of irrigation can directly lead to leaching of nutrients that can contaminate our groundwater resources.
This project is concentrated in the Hay Creek Watershed, a 24-square-mile area in Becker County that features several high-quality lakes including Stinking Lake, valued for high-quality waterfowl habitat and flood water storage. Protecting the lake has been a local priority.
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 Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District will conduct a river assessment to determine the scope of eroding riverbanks and a stormwater modeling project to identify targeted locations for stormwater management. The river assessment will: 1) verify that streambank erosion is the major contributor of pollutants, including sediment, Phosphorus, and Nitrogen; 2) catalog and quantify the erosion, and; 3) provide an assessment of reductions that could be achieved using specific solutions.
Otter Tail County will partner with the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District and the West Otter Tail and Wilkin SWCDs to stabilize the outlet of Judicial Ditch No. 2 which has become the most critically eroding gully contributing sediment to the Otter Tail River. When stabilized, sediment to the river will be reduced by 988 tons per year, and total phosphorus will be reduced by 840 pounds per year. The sediment reduction associated with this project is 7 percent of the 6,868 tons per year goal set by the Lower Otter Tail River Total Maximum Daily Load.
The Lac qui Parle-Yellow Bank Watershed District will contract with the Water Resource Center at the Minnesota State University in Mankato to complete a Geographic Information System (GIS) terrain analysis for the watershed. It will concentrate on the impaired reaches of the Lac qui Parle and Yellow Bank Rivers and tributaries. This inventory will utilize LiDAR elevation datasets to create many GIS datasets by spatially analyzing the elevation data.
Lake Seven is located in Otter Tail County and is a waterbody of statewide significance, often leading the north central hardwoods forest ecoregion in water clarity. Lake Seven has also been identified by DNR Fisheries staff as one of 77 refuge lakes with the potential to maintain tulibee populations into the future given sufficent watershed protection and the only one in Otter Tail County.
Lake Shaokatan and its 13.9 square mile watershed is the headwaters of Yellow Medicine River, which is one of the thirteen major watersheds in the Minnesota River and the largest watershed in Lincoln County. The primary land use is agriculture with the major crops being corn and soybeans. The trend for significant soil loss is due to the nature of the topography with the highest point in the Yellow Medicine Watershed in Lincoln County being 1,960 feet and the lowest being 1,160 feet, a drop of 800 feet in 25 miles.
The Mustinka River winds through five counties in west central Minnesota and empties into Lake Traverse, a border waters lake with excellent fishing and recreational opportunities. For several years, sections of the river have been negatively impacted from too much soil/sediment eroding from the land and washing away into the water. Excess sediment degrades aquatic habitat and feeds algae blooms. This project continues a 2012 Clean Water Fund collaborative effort to develop a plan to reduce the amount of sediment washed into the river.
The Mustinka River winds through five counties in west central Minnesota and empties into Lake Traverse, a border waters lake with excellent fishing and recreational opportunities. For several years, sections of the river have been impaired for turbidity due to too much soil/sediment eroding from the land and washing away into the water. Excess sediment degrades aquatic habitat
and feeds algae blooms.
The North Fork Crow River Watershed (NFCRWD) is mainly agricultural and has numerous public and private drainage ditches. Sub-surface drainage are major contributors to the sediment and nutrient loading into the North Fork Crow River and area Lakes. This project help reach the Rice Lake phosphorous reductions goals. Local landowners are willing to contribute land on public drainage systems to retain water and restore wetlands at three locations with total anticipated yearly pollutant removals of 200 tons of total suspended sediment and 235 pounds of phosphorus.
The primary land use within the North Fork Crow River Watershed District is mainly row crop agriculture with extensive public and private drainage systems. A large portion of existing tile lines have open intakes that directly transport sediment and nutrients to open ditches leading to the North Fork Crow River (NFCR). The NFCR flows into Rice Lake that is impaired for aquatic recreation due to excessive nutrients.
The North Fork Crow River Watershed District will develop an inventory and inspection database for 103E ditches under their drainage authority. The district will acquire a database software solution to conduct field inspections and to track ditch maintenance projects throughout the district. This software will be used to facilitate statutory compliance including developing a process for completing annual inspection and reporting requirements.
This grant program provides community groups with the ability to make positive improvements, a venue to grow community and identify water quality opportunities. Engaging community members in the identification of water protection opportunities helps build connections and foster a stewardship ethic. Selecting projects requires community groups to collaboratively develop priorities among the range of water quality impacts. Implementing projects provides a unique active social enviroment that helps build connections and energy to motivate and grow the community into the next project.
The Otter Tail County Soil and Water Conservation Districts will work to complete individual lake assessments on thirty-eight lakes in Otter Tail County that have enough data for an assessment. These assessments will be incorporated into the County Water Plan and can be used by individual lake associations in completing a lake management plan. These assessments will greatly assist the County and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts prioritize future efforts for water quality improvements and protection projects.
The Otter Tail County Community Conservation Sub-grant Program enables community groups to go beyond planning and take action to protect their water resources. This grant program provides community groups with the means to make positive improvements now, and a venue to grow community and identify further water quality opportunities. Engaging community members in the identification of water protection opportunities helps build connections and foster a stewardship ethic.
The Otter Tail County Community Partners Grant Project will enable community groups to go beyond planning and take action to protect their water resources. This grant program will provide targeted community groups with the means to make positive improvements now and identify high priority projects for future opportunities. Engaging community members in the identification of water protection opportunities with the data in recently completed lake assessment reports will help build connections and foster a stewardship ethic.
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 Otter Tail Water Management District (OTWMD) manages the wastewater for nearly 1,750 private residences near Otter Tail Lake, Deer Lake, and Lake Blanche. There OTWMD is responsible for 101 monitoring wells that were installed in 1984 and 1985 that are no longer being used and need to be properly sealed. The goal of this project is for the East Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation District (EOTSWCD) to assist the OTWMD in properly sealing 100% of the monitoring wells that are located within the Otter Tail Surficial Aquifer.
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.