This project will support a civic engagement cohort that will be offered in southwest Minnesota to foster partnering and build capacity of local government, organizations, and residents for effective civic engagement in water protection and restoration. This project will also build networks and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection. The cohort will be administered through the Minnesota River Board (MRB), established in 1995 with a goal of focusing water management efforts on the local level.
This project will include analysis of existing and newly collected water quality data to verify the impairments on the currently listed reaches and to determine the status of the remaining river reaches as being either impaired or currently meeting standards. Stakeholder involvement and public participation will be a focus throughout the Watershed Approach Project. The project provides an opportunity to assess and leverage the capacity for the local community to engage in the process of watershed management and to adopt protection and restoration practices.
This project will meet the following goals: develop, implement, and evaluate the impacts civic engagement outcomes for the Rainy River Headwaters and the Cloquet watersheds; create a citizen understanding of the Watershed Restoration & Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process and the role that citizens, lake associations, institutions of higher education, and other stakeholders can play in attaining water quality restoration and protection; provide opportunities for citizens and stakeholders to assist local partners and state agencies in developing priorities for projects to accomplish resto
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 International Water Institute (IWI) will monitor 42 sites (3 basin, 12 major watershed, and 27 subwatershed) in the Red River and Upper Mississippi River Basins intensively during 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. There will also be 5 sites in the Red River Basin where mercury samples will be collected in 2016 and 2017 and sent to Minnesota Department of Health for analysis. The IWI will collect water samples across the range of flow conditions targeting sample collection at times of moderate to high flow.
This project will provide MPCA staff, local partners and citizen volunteers with a framework for building local capacity to design civic engagement and communication/outreach efforts that will contribute to meaningful and sustained public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities throughout the watershed.