The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District will hire an Accelerated Water Quality Technician to focus on projects in the Middle Sauk area showing the greatest pollution reductions. After identifying and prioritizing targeted sites with the highest pollution potential, the Stearns County SWCD will begin surveys and designs and complete them in a timely fashion while current implementation funds are available. The accelerated survey and design in Stearns County will relieve our natural resources of the current strain put on them by the environment and land use.
The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure and is not duplicated by any other source of funding.The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses.
The Ashley Creek and Adley Creek Inventory Project will involve desk top analysis and a field scale inventory of riparian areas to determine priority areas to install erosion control Best Management Practices and vegetative buffers for nutrient reduction. Assessments will also be made for potential E.coli bacteria sources. Inventory data will be shared with local partners to further develop an implementation plan to address nutrient loading and the listed impairments on each creek.
The Chain of Lakes Targeted Reduction project will utilize Clean Water Funds to address bank erosion and install vegetated buffers along tributaries to the Eden Valley Chain of Lakes using the SRWD's incentivized Hayed Buffer Program. The Eden Valley Chain of Lakes (Vails Lake, Eden Lake and North Browns Lake) drain into the main segment of the Sauk River Chain of Lakes (SRCL) from the south. Impaired for excessive nutrients, this southern series of lakes is influenced by inflows from private ditches and perennial and intermittent streams.
The City of Cold Spring is looking to retrofit 24 acres of existing development within a 138 acre subcatchment of the City to improve the water quality of Cold Spring Creek, a designated trout stream. The large amounts of hard surfaces within the subcatchment area do not allow for rainfall or snow melt to soak into the ground. The stormwater carries with it sediment, bacteria, automotive fluids, and other pollutants. Cold Spring staff has frequently witnessed sediment plumes, the color of chocolate milk, at the storm sewer outfalls.
This project will conduct a 2017 revision of the South Fork Crow River, North Fork Crow River and Sauk River Watershed Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) models and review of the Pine River Watershed HSPF model.
The Discovery Farms program is a farmer-led effort to gather field-scale water quality information on different types of farms across Minnesota. The three pillars of the program are farmer leadership, credible research, and communicating results.
The Sauk River Watershed District (SRWD) is the drainage authority for Stearns and Pope Counties. The SRWD manages 12 public drainage systems totaling over 90 miles. The majority of the public systems provide drainage for agricultural land uses and were constructed in the early 1900s.
This Sauk River Watershed District project will conduct the Whitney Park river clean-up, adopt a river program and other community events as part of their healthy living programs; will collaborate with the city of St. Cloud to install a rain garden demonstration site at Whitney Park; use local radio and public television stations to promote the District’s “neighborhood rain garden initiative” and other incentive programs.
The Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead on implementing conservation practices that protect water quality. Those who implement and maintain approved conservation practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years. This program will help address concerns about changing regulatory requirements from multiple state and federal agencies.
The Douglas County Partners for Clean Water program enables community groups to take action and improve their water resources. Engaging citizens directly in project development and installation efforts provides immediate water quality benefits and cultivates a community of active stewardship.
The Sauk River Watershed District (SRWD) shall conduct water quality sampling for the Sauk River and tributary sites, as well as several lakes, for Cycle 2 of the Intensive Watershed Monitoring (IWM) during 2018 and 2019. Field monitoring will be completed at 14 stream locations and 9 lakes designated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Data management will also be completed by the SRWD, including entering and submitting all data to Canvas and compiling all photos, calibration logs and other documents as requested.
Approximately 70 percent of all Minnesotans rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water. Wells used for drinking water must be properly sealed when removed from service to protect both public health and Minnesota’s invaluable groundwater resources. The Minnesota Department of Health protects both public health and groundwater by assuring the proper sealing of unused wells.
Clean Water funds are being provided to well owners as a 50% cost-share assistance for sealing unused public water-supply wells.
Stearns County Ditch 26 (CD 26) is a 20 mile channelized section of Getchell Creek, a primary tributary to the Sauk River that is impaired for turbidity, E.coli and aquatic macroinvertebrate bio-assessment. The Stearns County Ditch 26 Drainage Management Project will address the stormwater runoff concerns identified within this public drainage system. Alternative intake structures to manage nutrients and mitigative measures will be taken to retain water on the upland properties and minimize flow rate and velocity.
A contractor with knowledge of Site Specific Standard development will respond to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) questions and concerns regarding attainability of standards based on the BATHTUB model data. In addition, they will review technical memorandums developed by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) on aquatic life and aquatic recreational standard attainability.
RESPEC is a contractor with knowledge of site-specific standard development and will respond to United States Environmental Protection Agency questions and concerns regarding attainability of standards. The response will be based on bathtub model data and also a review of technical memorandums developed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on aquatic life and aquatic recreational standard attainability.
The West Central Technical Service Area (WCTSA) serves 12 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) in west central Minnesota and has been experiencing increased workload due to greater requests from member SWCDs. This funding will sustain a limited-term technician and purchase related support equipment to assist landowners in implementing targeted, high priority practices that result in the greatest water quality outcomes.