"This project will meet the following goals: develop, implement, and evaluate the impacts civic engagement outcomes for the Big Fork River Watershed; create a citizen understanding of the Watershed Restoration & Protection Strategy (WRAPS) and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) process and the role citizens and stakeholders can play in attaining water quality restoration and protection; provide opportunities for citizens and stakeholders to assist local partners and state agencies in developing priorities for restoration as well projects to accomplish protection of high quality waters; and
This project will support a civic engagement cohort that will be offered in southwest Minnesota to foster partnering and build capacity of local government, organizations, and residents for effective civic engagement in water protection and restoration. This project will also build networks and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection. The cohort will be administered through the Minnesota River Board (MRB), established in 1995 with a goal of focusing water management efforts on the local level.
This project will offer incentives to protect 80 acres of land in filter strips and highly erodible lands adjacent to the rivers; construct 9 sediment and water control basins or terraces; replace 35 open tile intakes and advocate wetland restorations and grassland easement programs; organize a Friendship Tour to bring together Minnesota farmers, county commissioners, farm organizations, local, state and federal agency personnel to experience the watershed, farming practices, discuss future project ideas and strengthen relationships; and upgrade 37 subsurface sewage treatment systems by off
This project will collect intermediate watershed load monitoring data on the Bigfork River which is critical to the identification of stressors and assist in defining areas of concern within the Bigfork Watershed and its greater Rainy River Watershed. Itasca County SWCD will closely collaborate with Koochiching SWCD and MPCA on this project.
The primary goal of this project is to partner with stakeholders in the development of a comprehensive Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) report to be used on the local level. Achieving this goal will require sound working relationships between local government units (LGUs), watershed citizens, and state and federal government. Gathering input from these groups will be critical when the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) drafts a WRAPS Report that can be utilized by local decision-makers.
There are seven major watersheds Koochiching County, this project will work in five of them: Big Fork, Little Fork, Rapid River, Lower Rainy River, and Rainy River Headwaters watersheds. The local Koochiching County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is positioned to assist in several elements of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process. This includes gap monitoring for water chemistry, sediment work, TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) development, modeling scenarios, and WRAPS development.
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.