This project will result in the final the Bois de Sioux River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) report and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study. This work order will authorize the consultant to address all comments received during the public notice period and produce the final WRAPS report for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's final approval and a final TMDL study for United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) final approval.
The Buffalo River Watershed Pilot Project is one of two pilots in Minnesota designed to develop a watershed approach for managing Minnesota’s surface waters. The goal of this project is to develop a plan that will guide surface water quality management throughout the watershed.
This project will set water quality goals for the Minnesota portions of the watershed, recommend allocations for achieving total maximum daily loads where waters do not meet Minnesota state standards and are listed as impaired, and recommend management strategies for those Minnesota waters meeting state standards. This project also recognizes that as monitoring continues in the watershed, additional impairments may be identified.
This project will determine the condition of the water bodies in the Otter Tail River watershed, initiate public participation in the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) development process, begin identification of potential stressors and priority management areas within the watershed, and begin development of initial drafts of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study and WRAPS report.
International Water Institute (IWI) staff will monitor 24 sites in the Bois de Sioux, Mustinka (2 sites), Buffalo (8 sites), Red Lake (4 sites), Sandhill (3 sites), Thief (2 sites), and Tamarac River (3 sites) Watersheds intensively over a 2 year period in an attempt to collect 25 samples per year at each site. If conditions allow for the collection of all planned samples, 1200 stream samples will be collected over the time period. Monitoring will include field measurements, observations, and at least three photographs during each site visit.
This project will develop an effective transferable model to engage and educate watershed residents, stakeholders and others to better understand and protect watershed ecostystems through environmental monitoring, training, and formal and informal education programs in their local watershed. The project will build on the foundation of the existing Red River Basin River Watch program by strengthening three main activity areas: 1) curriculum integration and teacher training, 2) youth leadership and civic engagement, and 3) applied research collaboration and watershed science skills building.
This project will provide MPCA staff, local partners and citizen volunteers with a framework for building local capacity to design civic engagement and communication/outreach efforts that will contribute to meaningful and sustained public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities throughout the watershed.