The Pope County Water Plan has identified surface water quality and erosion control as top priority resource concerns. These two priorities account for 33% of the phosphorus loading to Lake Emily. The Lake Emily Watershed Best Management Practices (BMP) Prioritization Project will provide GIS-based water quality analysis to assist the Pope Soil and Water Conservation District in determining effective locations for BMP implementation and will prioritize the areas from high to low for phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment delivery from contributing runoff during rainfall events.
Pope Soil and Water Conservation District, partnered with Natural Resources Conservation Service staff and landowners, will install 22 targeted water and sediment control structures in two priority subwatersheds (Trappers Run and Minnewaska). These structures have the potential to reduce sediment load by 514 tons per year, and phosphorus by 440 pounds per year.
The City of Glenwood Water Quality Assessment & Best Management Practice Prioritization Project will include an assessment and analysis of approximately 1,796 acres affecting water quality and contributing runoff to Lake Minnewaska. By implementing this water quality analysis and assessment of the City of Glenwood and sub watersheds, a reducing pollutants by 1,287 pounds per year of phosphorus and 203 tons per year of sediment.
The Lake Emily Watershed BMP Targeted Implementation Project will provide funding for 48 water and sediment control projects and potential shoreline and riparian restoration. This work would address surface water quality sources identified in the water plan (Section 2-pg 11) including direct drainage from the Lake Emily sub-watersheds (070200050304, 070200050303, 070200050203, 070200050201, 070200050202) the Little Chippewa, and from upstream discharge between Lake Emily and Lake Minnewaska.
Pope SWCD has 9 motivated landowners with 21 WASCOBs, 1 lined waterway, and 1 shoreline restoration in two priority sub watersheds (Trappers Run and Minnewaska). Based on averages calculated from recently constructed WASCOBs in the West Central Area II these projects have the potential to reduce TSS by 518 T/year, and 446 lbs./year of TP. This project will provide a secondary benefit to improve downstream water quality to Lake Emily. The project will result in meeting 99% of the Lake Emily TP lbs/yr.
Lake Emily is a high priority recreational lake in Pope County and is currently not meeting state water quality standards due to high phosphorus levels. This project will provide funding for 26 water and sediment control projects with potential shoreline and riparian restoration projects. This work will address surface water quality sources including both direct drainage and upstream discharge. Collectively, these projects have the potential to annually reduce sediment and phosphorus leaving the field which will directly address 15% of Lake Emily's phosphorus reduction goal.
The Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program, managed by the Department of Natural Resources, provided 56 competitive matching grants to non-profit organizations and governments, appropriating all the available ML12 funds.
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.
BWSR will administer funding to eligible County projects that provide funds and other assistance to low income property owners to upgrade or replace Noncompliant Septic Systems. BWSR will also manage annual reporting completed by each County.
The District is seeking to further its goals of meeting multipurpose drainage management requirements under its obligations as a 103E drainage authority. Judicial Ditch 1 is the largest system in the District, and proportionally one of the largest contributors of sediment and nutrients to the downstream reaches of the North Fork Crow River.
The North Fork Crow River Watershed (NFCRWD) is mainly agricultural and has numerous public and private drainage ditches. Sub-surface drainage are major contributors to the sediment and nutrient loading into the North Fork Crow River and area Lakes. This project help reach the Rice Lake phosphorous reductions goals. Local landowners are willing to contribute land on public drainage systems to retain water and restore wetlands at three locations with total anticipated yearly pollutant removals of 200 tons of total suspended sediment and 235 pounds of phosphorus.
The primary land use within the North Fork Crow River Watershed District is mainly row crop agriculture with extensive public and private drainage systems. A large portion of existing tile lines have open intakes that directly transport sediment and nutrients to open ditches leading to the North Fork Crow River (NFCR). The NFCR flows into Rice Lake that is impaired for aquatic recreation due to excessive nutrients.
The North Fork Crow River Watershed District will develop an inventory and inspection database for 103E ditches under their drainage authority. The district will acquire a database software solution to conduct field inspections and to track ditch maintenance projects throughout the district. This software will be used to facilitate statutory compliance including developing a process for completing annual inspection and reporting requirements.
This project will work to install 30 water and sediment control basins (WaSCOBs) in three subwatersheds adjacent to Lake Minnewaska to reduce the amount of total phosphorus (TP) entering Pelican Lake, Lake Minnewaska, and Lake Emily. Pelican Lake and Lake Emily have been identified in an 8 lake Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study conducted in Pope County as being impaired for excess nutrients.
Pope County Ditch 6 (CD 6) is an 18 mile channelized watershed and a primary tributary to Ashley Creek. CD6 and Ashley Creek are impaired for bacteria, dissolved oxygen and aquatic organisms. This project will address the storm water runoff concerns identified within this public drainage system in conjunction with repairs scheduled for 2017-2018. Alternative intake structures to manage nutrients and other practices, such as water and sediment control basins, will be installed to retain water on the upland properties and minimize flow rate and velocity.
Lake Minnewaska, a highly used recreational lake, is the largest body of water in Pope County. While scientific studies show that the transparency in Lake Minnewaska has been increasing over the last 30 years, there are numerous ravines on the south shore of Lake Minnewaska that could threaten this trend. The erosion in these ravines is causing large amounts of sediment and phosphorus to be dumped directly into Lake Minnewaska. After a storm in 2011, many trees vegetating the ravines were blown down, ripping out the roots and further exposing the soil along these ravines.
The Chippewa River Watershed Project will work with local partners, such as Land Stewardship Project, soil and water conservation districts, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, to restore water quality in Lake Gilchrist, Simon Lake, Lake Johanna and in Mud Creek, and to protect unimpaired water resources in the watershed. This will be done through implementation of Best Management Practices focusing on the reduction of phosphorous, sediment, and runoff in the landscape, primarily by increasing the landscape's ability to retain water.
This proposal will fund technical assistance for nutrient management planning to accelerate water quality improvements with the 12-county West Central Technical Service Area (WCTSA). A needs assessment identified an estimated 156 certified nutrient management plans that will be needed over a 3 year period. Of the 71 SWCD employees in the WCTSA, only 1 SWCD staff member is dedicated to nutrient management planning. To meet technical assistance needs, this grant will fund a Regional Planning Specialist (RPS) to address local resource concerns.
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.