Governor Mark Dayton's landmark buffer initiative was signed into law in 2015. The law establishes new perennial vegetation buffers of up to 50 feet along rivers, streams, and ditches that will help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment. The new law provides flexibility and financial support for landowners to install and maintain buffers.
For grants to Soil and Water Conservation Districts to ensure compliance with riparian buffer or alternate practice requirements for state required buffers and soil erosion law.
The Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District will partner with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and local volunteers to conduct water quality monitoring in high priority areas of the Upper Mississippi River (Brainerd) Watershed. Four lakes will be sampled, including Sheriff, Rabbit, French, and Section Twelve. Four stream/river sites will be monitored including the Rice River (2 sites), Ripple River, and Sissabagama Creek. Through this effort we will obtain information that will be useful in assessing the health of this watershed.
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.
The project will include lake monitoring on seventeen lakes found in the Mississippi River - Brainerd watershed in East Central Crow Wing County (CWC). The project will be conducted in an effort to gain data on these data-deficient lakes. One of the goals of the CWC Local Comprehensive Water Plan (CWP) is to establish a countywide Comprehensive Monitoring Plan (CMP). Surface water assessment monitoring will enable state 303(d) and 305(b) assessments and provide a better understanding of these lakes.
The Benton SWCD is applying to use Clean Water funds to work with livestock producers in implementing a variety of BMPs including, but not limited to cropland erosion control projects (water and sediment control basins, grade stabilization structures), extending buffers where appropriate to exceed state buffer laws, riparian pasture management and conversion to other uses, nutrient management and feedlot pollution control systems. Our goal is to reduce runoff from these sites and improve water quality within the Mayhew Lake and Big Elk Lake watersheds.
This project will create a culvert inventory database for county and township roads in the southwest portion of St. Louis County that contains the St. Louis River watershed. Data will be used by the County Public Works Department to identify and prioritize stream crossings in need of replacement or increasing upstream storm water retention to reduce the potential for culvert failure during large runoff events, factoring in stream health (fish habitat and passage, sediment transport and hydrologic connection) while protecting infrastructure.
The purpose of this project is to improve understanding of primary productivity in the Red River and the diversity and population structure of the algal communities occurring along the river system. This will be accomplished through taxonomic identification of periphyton and phytoplankton assemblages necessary for characterizing responses to nutrient gradients along the Red River of the North.
The project goal is to conduct water chemistry monitoring at one subwatershed site, one basin site, and one major watershed site in 2016 and 2017 based on flow conditions, targeting runoff events using protocols defined in the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) Standard Operating Procedures and Guidance. The data collected will be submitted to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and used in the FLUX32 model for calculating pollutant loads.
The goal of this project is to conduct water quality monitoring at the ten lakes within the Todd County portions of the Mississippi River Brainerd and the one lake within the Todd County portion of the Mississippi River Sartell. Sampling will be done once per month between May 2016 and September 2016 and then again once per month May 2017 through September 2017.
The proposed work will be the fifth septic inventory effort conducted by Todd County and will include eight lakes, 431 parcels, and 277 established addresses. Three of the lakes - Cedar, Long Higgens, and Pauley are located in the Sauk River Watershed District's Sauk Lake Management Unit which is a high priority for improvement. These are the last three lakes of any size to be completed in the Sauk River Watershed portion of Todd County. Nitrogen and phosphorus levels are an issue through the watershed and this management unit in particular.
The Whiskey Creek Watershed is the largest subwatershed in the Upper Red River of the North drainage, encompassing 165.63 square miles in Otter Tail and Wilkin Counties. This watershed contains the headwaters of the Red River of the North, which begins in far west central Wilkin County, an area of mixed residential and agricultural land use. The cities of Breckenridge, Minnesota and Wahpeton, North Dakota, as well as the small town of Kent are within the watershed.