This project targets retrofit stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) on public land to assist partnering Local Government Units (LGUs) achieve water quality goals identified in local stormwater plans. The Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) provides technical assistance and distributes Clean Water Funding (CWF) to leverage local funding through its time-proven Stormwater Retrofit Partnership (Partnership) cost share program.
This project is a continuation of the Dakota County Community Initiative, which has received Clean Water Funds in 2012 and 2013. It will provide cost share funding to organizations and associations who voluntarily construct medium sized water quality best management practices (BMPs) in Dakota County.
Lower Prior Lake was the target of a 2011-2013 diagnostic and feasibility study that identified projects and ranked subwatershed by phosphorus loading to the lake. This project is in a high loading subwatershed and includes three elements designed to reduce phosphorus loading and control rates and volumes of stormwater runoff: 1) retrofitting an existing ditch section with in-line iron-sand filters; 2) expanding storage capacity and creating wetland upstream of the ditch; and 3) installing a new control structure in an existing berm.
Arctic Lake, while not listed as an impaired water on the statewide 303(d) list, both regularly exceeds the statewide phosphorus standard for shallow lakes and drains directly to Upper Prior Lake, which is impaired for nutrients Reducing Phosphorus to Arctic Lake will help reverse the current declining water quality while also reducing the loading entering Upper Prior Lake.
Recent efforts by Carver County Water Management Organization Staff have centered on removing point sources of bacteria in both Bevens and Carver Creeks. These efforts have shown improvement in water quality; however the creeks are still above the state standard for E. coli. Early results from field surveys have pinpointed areas where livestock have uncontrolled access to streams. Five sites over a twenty mile stretch of Bevens Creek have shown evidence of livestock access to streams and associated damage to streambanks.
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.
In 2002 and 2004, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency listed Bluff Creek for turbidity and biological integrity. A Total Maximum Daily Load report and implementation plan were finalized and approved in 2013. This project was identified as a high priority site for culvert restoration and bank repairs.
The Burandt Lake Stormwater Reuse System (BLSRS) project will install a water reuse system to capture untreated storm water and reduce pollutants entering Burandt Lake. This collaborative project with Carver County, Carver County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), City of Waconia and Independent School District 110 will retain and reuse an estimated 48% of the annual storm water runoff (1.25 million gallons) currently generated from eight acres of adjacent residential neighborhoods.
This project will increase the ability of the Carver County Water Management Organization (CCWMO) to approach local community partners and fund projects that treat stormwater runoff at the source instead of treating stormwater downstream at a regional pond or through other large scale best management practices (BMPs).
The City of Minnetonka and its residents highly value the water resources within the community, which include approximately ten lakes, four streams, and hundreds of wetlands. The City has been progressive in protecting these resources through policies and management strategies, and now wants to increase their on-the-ground efforts in protecting and improving water quality. The City hopes to conduct targeted watershed assessments for fourteen selected priority water bodies to identify and optimize the type and locations of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to be installed.
The Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) program identifies environmental contaminants for which current health-based standards currently do not exist or need to be updated, investigate the potential for human exposure to these chemicals, and develop guidance values for drinking water. Contaminants evaluated by CEC staff include contaminants that have been released or detected in Minnesota waters (surface water and groundwater) or that have the potential to migrate to or be detected in Minnesota waters.
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.
This project will reduce sediment and nutrient loading to the main stem and local tributaries of the Lower Minnesota River (LMR) by providing cost share for practices that treat ravine headcut and channel erosion, streambank/shoreline erosion, ephemeral gully erosion, and direct-discharging open inlet drainage systems. Targeted Best Management Practices (BMPs) will include but not be limited to grade control structures, grassed/lined waterways, water & sediment control basins, shoreline/streambank stabilization and alternative tile inlets.
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.
This project will reduce sediment to the Minnesota River, control erosion and reduce sedimentation in a local DNR Protected Water and protect private land and public infrastructure. The County Road (CR) 6 ravine (Quarry Creek) cuts through the Minnesota River valley bluff in Blakeley Township. Active channel incision and erosion within the ravine has caused large amounts of sediment to be deposited under the bridge at CR 6 such that the road is frequently flooded and sediment has to be removed several times a year.
This project will engage the public and community partners in Rice County. The goal of this project is the implementation of conservation practices that retain water on the land by providing up to five sub-grants for rain gardens, vegetative buffers, and wetland restorations.
Calcareous fens such as the Savage Fen are fragile ecosystems existing only under a unique combination of soil type, hydrology, chemistry, and vegetation. The City of Savage is continuing efforts to protect this important ecosystem through this project. Two large ravines -Dakota Avenue and McColl's Bluff - discharge to the Fen, which was granted special status under the State's Wetlands Conservation Act. Both ravines are highly eroded and carry a significant amount of stormwater and sediment to the Savage Fen.
The Le Sueur Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), who acts as County Ditch Inspectors, will partner with the Le Sueur County GIS Coordinator to accomplish the inventory and inspection of drainage ditches. A database will be established for all 250 miles of Le Sueur County Drainage Authority ditches. The inventory will be conducted using Lidar, 2010 and 2013 Pictometry and onsite technical review. Sites that have potential water quality issues will be identified from worst to most stable for side inlets, buffers and retention storage.
The Cannon River is a designated Wild and Scenic River that originates in Rice County and joins the Mississippi River 120 miles downstream near Red Wing. The Upper Cannon, which encompasses 29% of the entire watershed, has been identified as a priority subwatershed.