Two large, actively eroding gullies located a few miles apart in Amador Township are contributing tremendous loads of phosphorus and sediment to the St. Croix River. One gully (Gully A) includes a major agricultural gully, severe road erosion, and sediment deposits of a foot or more thick in a state park. The second gully (Gully B) is over 4 feet deep, adjacent to a road, and is an annual problem. Stabilizing these two gullies will greatly reduce the sediment and phosphorus loading to the St. Croix River, which will help meet the reduction goal of the Lake St.
Using a previous escarpment gully project as a model, the Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District will complete a similar inventory of actively eroding gullies along the Lower Sunrise River from the Kost Dam south to the confluence with the St. Croix, which includes the North Branch of the Sunrise, Hay Creek, and the Sunrise River main branch. There are major erosion issues along this stretch of river, no organized and efficient way to begin work in the area. The inventory report will provide the missing link.
The Ann River Watershed is a sub-watershed of the Snake River Watershed located within the St. Croix River Basin. The Ann River watershed includes Ann Lake, Fish Lake, Ann River and its tributaries. This project will focus on watershed load reductions. Based on the strategies found in the Implementation Plan, the first priority will be to target the animal and cropland - agricultural areas on the Ann River and its tributaries. The second priority will be to target the lake shore and streambank areas in the non-agricultural areas.
With limited funds and limited staff time available for targeting critical service areas and implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs), Geographic Information System (GIS)-based tools that pinpoint locations where BMPs will have the highest effectiveness are increasingly important. The Blue Earth County/SWCD Watershed Implementation Targeting project will utilize LiDAR topographic data to determine areas of high importance for BMP implementation. The county is located in the Blue Earth, LeSueur, Watonwan and Middle Minnesota watersheds where there is a high density of impaired waters.
This project will conduct Inventory and Inspection of four drainage ditches in Blue Earth County: JD116, CD5, CD86 and CD56. The inventory of these drainage ditches is important in order to identify where erosion, sediment and/or nutrients contribute substantially to water quality degradation. The project will also prioritize sites for future side inlet control, buffer strip implementation, and/or storage and treatment implementation.
In recent years, nutrient enrichment has occurred in Lake St. Croix due to increasing amounts of phosphorus entering the lake from the watershed. According to the TMDL, approximately half of the phosphorus-loading to Lake St. Croix is in the soluble form, and agriculture has been identified as one of the largest contributors of that phosphorus. In addition to the TMDL, subwatershed analyses were completed to identify, assess, and prioritize phosphorus-reducing practices in rural areas draining to Lake St. Croix in Washington County. This project will reduce phosphorus discharges to the St.
The Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will partner with citizen groups and nonprofit groups to complete projects to reduce stormwater runoff and retain water on the land in Crow Wing County's (CWC) 125 minor watersheds. The SWCD will implement a mini grant program and provide competitive grant funds to an anticipated 12 groups. This project will also address CWC Water Plan priorities one, two, and six, which involve stormwater management and sediment control, shoreline buffers, and agriculture best management practices.
Brown's Creek is one of the few remaining cold water fisheries in the Metropolitan Area; however, it is impaired due to high suspended solids and high water temperatures. To understand the extensive and complex in-stream temperature and local climate data already collected by the Brown's Creek Watershed District, this grant will facilitate the development of a thermal model to determine thermal sources and cost-effective management projects and practices to reduce thermal loading to Brown's Creek.
The Watershed District is partnering with the City of Stillwater to reduce sediment and thermal loading to Brown's Creek from existing impervious gravel parking lot and paved roads to achieve Total Maximum Daily Load water quality goals in this reach of Brown's Creek.
Once thought to have an essentially inexhaustible groundwater supply, Minnesotans are now realizing our rates of use are regionally unsustainable. Recent advanced modeling by the MN DNR and Metropolitan Council of aquifer supplies, in conjunction with predicted demand, indicate the major metropolitan area aquifers are currently subject to extraction rates that exceed recharge. Simply stated, we are mining our groundwater.
This project will implement watershed load reduction practices to restore the top priority water body in the Carnelian Marine St. Croix Watershed District in northeast Washington County. Recently completed prioritization and targeting efforts have identified several Best Management Practice opportunities around goose Lake, the number one priority for implementation practices.
Sediment and water quality issues are local priorities within the Thief River and Red Lake River watersheds, which have their confluence in the city of Thief River Falls. The 1W1P effort underway in the Red Lake River Watershed will identify opportunities for projects and practices that are targeted and result in measurable water quality benefits throughout the watershed using PTMApp.
Crow Wing County, in cooperation with the municipalities within the County, plans to continue its successful well sealing program that pays 50% of the cost to seal unused/abandoned wells up to a maximum of $1000 per well. The amount of funding requested is $31,000 which is estimated to allow for the sealing of 80-100 wells. From 2012 to 2015, Crow Wing County sealed 65 wells as part of an earlier MDH well sealing grant from the Clean Water Fund. Priority will be given to wells located in or near existing wellhead protection areas.
This project will address impairments in the St. Croix, Kettle and Snake River Watersheds by reducing sediment and phosphorus delivery by encouraging private forest landowners within the St. Croix River Watershed in Pine County to re-establish riparian forest buffers, maintain existing riparian buffers and plant de-forested areas. It will develop a forest stewardship program and write forest stewardship plans in watersheds with the highest risk of impacts on water quality as listed by the Minnesota Forest Resources Council. This project will implement measures to achieve the St.
This project will improve water quality, reducing phosphorus annually by 1,842 in the St. Croix, Kettle and Snake River Watersheds in Pine County by establishing cover crops to reduce erosion and phosphorus/fertilizer applications, increase soil fertility, permeability, and microbe activity. A no-till drill will be purchased for use by agricultural producers for installing cover crops as a means of decreasing soil erosion, reducing phosphorus and fertilizer applications and increasing soil health.
This feasibility study will produce strategies for wetland restoration and ditch hydrology changes to reduce the amount of phosphorus and solids that drain into Typo and Martin Lakes, the Sunrise River and St. Croix River. Total Maximum Daily Loads and other plans have identified this area as key for pollutant reduction, and the study will determine scope and effects of potential projects, allowing the district to prioritize those that will have the great impact on water quality.
This project will identify and prioritize opportunities to implement a multipurpose drainage management plan that will provide adequate drainage capacity, reduce peak flows and flooding and reduce erosion and sediment loading, improving water quality to the West Branch Rum River.
The Faribault County Soil and Water Conservation District Drainage Engineer will inventory public drainage ditches to identify priority systems and areas where erosion, sediment, and nutrients contribute to water quality degradation. Sites identified for potential side inlet control, buffer strip need, or water storage will be prioritized for landowner contact and follow through by seeking external funding opportunities.
Working with a consultant, a current online database to manage public drainage systems will be enhanced and a corresponding mobile inspection app will be developed to facilitate drainage compliance and improve inspection planning. With these improvements, a long-term, comprehensive, GIS-compatible database will be in place to help plan, collect, document, summarize, and analyze system condition, repair needs, and violations with the overall goal of protecting and improving water quality.
Forest Lake is one of the top recreational lakes in the metro area with a diverse and healthy fishery along with thee public accesses. The water quality of Forest Lake also impacts downstream waters, particularly Comfort Lake, the Sunrise River, and ultimately Lake St. Croix. A water quality study was completed for Forest Lake identifying nutrient reduction goals to meet state water quality standards for all three basins of Forest Lake along with the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District's (CLFLWD) long term goal water quality goals for the lake.
This project builds upon the success of the Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) Community Assistance Package by working hands-on with up to 13 communities in the St. Croix River Basin to adopt ordinance and code revisions to incorporate MIDS stormwater quality and volume standards for new development and redevelopment.
This project will develop an inventory of the Chisago County public ditch system and significant tributaries, including record searching and field verification to identify and confirm locations of existing public ditches. This project will also identify, inventory and evaluate functions, purpose, and necessity of the Chisago County ditch system and determine legal status of ditches, rights, and responsibilities as defined in Minnesota Statutes 103E.
The Kelle's Creek septic system assessment project will examine septic systems throughout the Kelle's Creek watershed to identify those systems that are non-functioning, non-compliant, or an imminent threat to public health and safety. Preliminary prioritization of the septic systems within the watershed will be based on the Washington County GIS database, followed by outreach to landowners to identify willing participants. Ultimately, this project will include inspection of up to 150 septic systems within the Kelle's Creek hydrologic boundary.
Faribault County Soil and Water Conservation District will develop two watershed plans using charettes, an intensive planning process used to engage citizens, conservation agencies, and others to collaborate on a vision for the development of a drainage watershed scale plan. The process allows landowners, producers, businesses, townships, cities and the county to partake in a comprehensive plan directly relating back to concerns and solutions related to surface water and nonpoint source pollution.
This project will address the nutrient impairment of Lake St. Croix through the installation of targeted stormwater treatment best management practices as prioritized in the 2014 Lake St. Croix Direct Discharge Stormwater Retrofit Assessment. The project will install up to 16 Low Impact Development practices to reduce pollutant loading to Lake St. Croix by at least 8.0 pounds phosphorous and 3,000 pounds sediment and 1.0 acre foot of stormwater per year.
This project will continue to address the nutrient impairment of Lake St. Croix through the installation of targeted stormwater treatment best management practices as prioritized in the 2014 Lake St. Croix Direct Discharge Stormwater Retrofit Assessment. The goal is to install up to 24 Low Impact Development practices to reduce urban pollutant loading to Lake St. Croix by at least 12.0 pounds phosphorous and 3,000 pounds TSS and 1.0 acre foot of stormwater per year. This project parallels many ongoing watershed restoration efforts to meet the Middle St.
Lake George is the premier recreational lake in Anoka County with above average water quality, a vibrant fishery, and a large regional park and beach that is among the most utilized in the county. Located in northwestern Anoka County within the Upper Rum River Watershed Management Organization (URRWMO), the Lake George Improvement District (LGID) was formed to tend to the lake's diminishing water quality and problematic invasive species.
This project addresses the nutrient impairment of Lily Lake through the continued installation of targeted stormwater treatment best management practices as identified in the 2010 Lily Lake Stormwater Retrofit Assessment. The goal is to install up to 16 Low Impact Development practices treating at least 8 acres of urban development to reduce pollutant loading to Lily Lake by approximately 8 pounds phosphorous, 2 tons of sediment and 3.0 acre-feet of volume per year.
Little Rock Creek, a cold-water trout stream in central Minnesota, is impaired due to the lack of trout and other cold water fish. The trout are absent because of high water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen and high nitrate levels, stressors caused from a lack of base flow and overuse of groundwater. This project continues a 2011 initiative to assist irrigators in the Little Rock Creek groundwater recharge area with managing the timing and amount of irrigation applied to their crops.
The Marine on St. Croix Innovative Stormwater Management Implementation is a partnership, formalized through an MOU, between Marine on St. Croix (MOSC) and the Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix Watershed District (CMSCWD) to improve stormwater management in the most densely developed areas of the City on a neighborhood zone approach rather than site-by-site (parcel) approach for greater and more impactful results in accomplishing District and City stormwater management goals.
Ensuring natural resource practitioners are applying state-of-the-art approaches is the best way to achieve optimum Best Management Practice (BMP) selection, design, and placement in the landscape, thereby maximizing Clean Water Fund (CWF) benefits. To that end, it is critical to train new staff, create modeling protocols for new BMPs, refine and calibrate models, and test ever-advancing modeling applications.
Moody Lake is the headwaters of the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District northern flow network, and as such, its water quality sets the stage for downstream waters, particularly Bone Lake, Comfort Lake, the Sunrise River, and ultimately Lake St. Croix. A multi-year diagnostic and implementation feasibility study was conducted in the Moody Lake watershed to prioritize nutrient sources, target cost-effective BMPs, and estimate the measurable phosphorus reductions that will be achieved through implementation of these projects.
This project combines the use of automated soil moisture probes for irrigation scheduling with diverse cover crop planting to reduce or eliminate leaching of nitrogen and other nutrients on cropland with an early season harvested crop in the rotation. The more efficient use of irrigation waters provides a secondary benefit: less withdrawal from the aquifers that provide recharge for the Mt. Simon-Hinckley aquifer.
The Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District will partner with local lake associations and other eligible community partners to reduce the impacts of storm water runoff and retain water on the land. We will implement a mini-grant program that will install rain gardens and native vegetation buffers along shorelines using deep-rooted native vegetation that will filter runoff, promote infiltration, and control stormwater runoff and soil erosion.
This project will reduce phosphorus loading from the watershed tributary to Silver Lake. The project includes a combination of structural water quality improvements in the SLV-10 subwatershed north of the lake, retrofits (including iron enhanced sand filtration) to the Silver Lake bioretention basin, small scale best management practices (BMPs) throughout the watershed, and educational signage in Joy Park. The elements of this project will reduce phosphorus loading to Silver Lake by a combined 15 pounds per year or 40% of the current watershed load.
To be able to manage resources in the Blue Earth and Le Sueur Watersheds into the future and have a positive effect on water quality, resource managers need high quality accurate data to support decision making of best management practice (BMP) implementation. Digital elevation data is a valuable resource for modeling water flow, however in its current state it cannot represent water conveyance through features such as roadways. These flow barriers limit the accurate use of data for recently developed targeting tools identifying BMP suitability and effectiveness down to the field scale.
At almost 4,000 acres, Trout Brook is the largest subwatershed in the Capitol Region Watershed District and the City of Saint Paul. The restored stream is part of the 42 acre Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary project, whose goal is to return the area back to some resemblance of its pre-industrialized valley of stream floodplain and wetlands. Monitoring results within the corridor show that phosphorus, sediments, bacteria, lead and copper are the pollutants of most concern.
Crow Wing County is pursuing this grant to continue this proven community and landowner outreach campaign by developing new water planning tools and using print and social media strategies to effect a positive change in our watersheds. The County believes that landowners want to do the right thing and has the data to show that when doing the right thing can be presented in customer-focused, fact-driven, easy-to-understand format, they get engaged and conservation gets done!