This project will build network and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection in Southeast Minnesota. The cohort will be administered through the Southeast Minnesota Water Resources Board (SE MN WRB) which is an area wide Joint Powers Board (JPB) established to help improve and protect the water resources of the area through coordinating local water planning efforts. This JPB has successfully administered water quality grants in the past that have positively impacted the water resources of this region.
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.
LEQA is a Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) program to help livestock producers address, using a non-regulatory approach, the unique water quality issues on their farms. The MDA has contracted with Ag Resource Strategies, LLC, to recruit farmers to enroll in the LEQA program. The company trains technicians to assess different areas of each farms, such as the farmstead, livestock facilities, fields and wooded areas. The technicians then develop an environmental assessment and identify financial assistance for these projects.
The purpose of this effort is to create an educational video that will “bring to life” geo-scientific information related to groundwater movement in southeast Minnesota. This video will be used by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and other regional partners to help explain the local geology and related groundwater movement. It is anticipated that the video will be used at meetings and other events related to water resource management and natural resource issues. In addition, three stand alone high resolution graphics will be created.
This project will build upon the outreach and education efforts of the Zumbro Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS). The targeted area will be residents of the Zumbro River Watershed, specifically individuals and organizations that are not professionally involved in managing natural resources. This project will provide necessary outreach and education during the interim between the Zumbro WRAPS and beginning the One Watershed, One Plan process.