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).
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 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.
Sherburne County's Local Water Management Plan identifies eutrophication of lakes (heavy algae blooms) caused by excess phosphorus, loss of aquatic vegation, and loss of riparian vegetation. Removal of natural vegetation near the waters edge in developed and agricultural areas has caused loss of fish and wildlife habitat, increased runoff, and allowed bank erosion. The District will address sources of phosphorus and sediment for three important surface waters in the County. In all, phosphorus will be reduced by 355 pounds and sediment will be reduced by 400 tons per year.
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.