The Beltrami SWCD proposes to partner with citizen and non-profit groups to complete projects that will reduce stormwater runoff and retain water on the land. The majority of the projects will be in the Lake Bemidji lakeshed which has recently been identified in the WRAPs project as being on the verge of impaired for nutrients. With the City of Bemidji being a regional hub for Northwestern Minnesota and the First City on the Mississippi, there are ample opportunities for citizen involvement and ample opportunities for stormwater improvements.
This monitoring project includes lake and stream monitoring and encompasses all of Cass County, and surrounding counties. The project will obtain water quality data for streams; in 2009, lakeshed assessments indicated that many surface waters throughout the county were data deficient. This project will address the need for sufficient data on a county-wide basis and fulfill the State’s intensive watershed monitoring program goals by obtaining water quality data at targeted lake and stream sites.
This project will include lake and stream monitoring on 23 lakes and 4 streams found within the Leech Lake River and Pine River watersheds in Cass County. The project will be conducted in an effort to gain sufficient data on these data-deficient lake and stream sites within these watersheds. All of the proposed monitoring sites are target sites located in the targeted watersheds for 2012. Cass ESD is partnering with Hubbard SWCD, the Leech Lake Band of Objibwe, and RMB Environmental Laboratories to conduct the fieldwork for this project.
The main outcome of Phase III of the project will be the final deliverable of a WRAPS report that will prescribe the restoration and protection strategies for the surface water resources within the Leech Lake River Watershed. The WRAPS will provide the analytical and strategic foundation which will be essential in protecting the surface water resources within this high quality watershed. Along with the development of the WRAPS report, this project will support the development and completion of the MPCA Stressor ID and Watershed Assessment reports to be completed for this watershed.
This project supports the planning, coordination and civic engagement/outreach components of the Leech Lake River Major Watershed project. Phase 1 will focus towards the development of project teams, identifying stakeholders, developing an initial civic engagement strategic plan and reviewing current and past watershed project data. Phase II of this project will focus on source assessment, running of watershed modeling scenarios, lake protection planning, stressor identification and the continuation of the Civic Engagement components of the project.
The International Water Institute (IWI) will monitor 42 sites (3 basin, 12 major watershed, and 27 subwatershed) in the Red River and Upper Mississippi River Basins intensively during 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. There will also be 5 sites in the Red River Basin where mercury samples will be collected in 2016 and 2017 and sent to Minnesota Department of Health for analysis. The IWI will collect water samples across the range of flow conditions targeting sample collection at times of moderate to high flow.