A direct appropriation of $400,000 in FY 2010 for the Anoka Conservation District (ACD) is for the metropolitan landscape restoration program for water quality and improvement projects in the seven-county metro area (the law also provides $600,000 for this purpose in FY2011).
The Board of Water and Soil Resources is required to contract with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa (formerly Minnesota Conservation Corps), or CCMI, for installation of conservation practices benefitting water quality for at least $500,000 in each year of the 2010-11 biennium.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Barr Engineering Company developed maps and supporting information to characterize the relationship between surface waters and groundwater, identifying surface waters most likely to be impacted by groundwater withdrawals in the region. This project also provided guidance on effective resource monitoring strategies and costs for each type of surface water feature.
The law also included a direct appropriation of $500,000 in FY2010 to Hennepin County for riparian restoration and stream bank stabilization in the county's 10 primary stream systems. The money is funding projects to protect, enhance and help restore the water quality of five streams and downstream receiving waters. Bassett Creek Plymouth Creek Nine Mile Creek Riley Creek Elm Creek
This project will consist of retrofitting a dry storm water basin, constructing a new pre-treatment cell, creating new wetland, and reconfiguring the existing inlets and the outlet for better water quality treatment. This project is specifically identified in the Twin-Ryan Lakes TMDL.
The Nine Mile Creek watershed is a highly developed, urbanized watershed located in southern Hennepin County. The natural infiltration capacity of soils in the watershed has been diminished by significant coverage with hard surfaces such as streets, parking lots, and buildings. This leads to more rainfall making its way more quickly to Nine Mile Creek. As a result, Nine Mile Creek has experienced stream bank erosion and instream habitat loss due to increases in storm water runoff resulting in the creek to be listed on the State of Minnesota impaired waters list for biotic integrity.
The purpose of this project is to install a sediment pond along County Ditch #4A to trap sediment and associated pollutants before entering into Bevens Creek which drains into the Minnesota River. Carver County Ditch #4A recently went through a redetermination of benefits process and state law now requires a buffer strip one rod (16.5 feet) wide to be maintained along the top of the ditch bank. The sediment pond, in combination with the buffer strip, will reduce the amount of sediments and pollutants that reach Bevens Creek.
Shingle Creek in suburban Hennepin County has experienced significant changes since its days as a narrow, meandering prairie stream. Nearly 100 years ago much of the stream was straightened and dredged to provide better drainage for agriculture. As agriculture gave way to urban and suburban development, Shingle Creek was widened and dredged again to more efficiently convey stormwater to the Mississippi River. Urbanization has resulted in high levels of chloride in the stream from road salt and not enough dissolved oxygen to sustain aquatic life.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin is a large area within the Watonwan, Le Sueur, and Blue Earth River watersheds. Recent research by University of Minnesota, the National Center for Earth Dynamics, and others has found this basin to be the largest contributor of sediment to Lake Pepin.
In recent times, the owners of Wolf Marine on the St. Croix River have to excavate sediment that has built up at the outlet of Brown's Creek every year just to keep their marina navigable. Their business is directly affected by how much soil gets into the creek. Reducing dirt and sand entering Brown's Creek is also important to others. The creek is one of the few designated trout streams in the Twin Cities area that supports a fishable brown trout population.