This project will accelerate production of County Geologic Atlases (part A). An atlas is a set of geologic maps and associated databases for a county that facilitate informed management of natural resources, especially water and minerals.
This project is a continuation of Statewide Lake study that revealed the obiquitous presence of endrocrine active compounds (EACs) in many MN Lakes. The initial project findings suggested two potential knowledge gaps in our understanding of EACs and their effects in lake environments. First, the sources of EACs and their entrance points into lakes need to be better defined than was possible in our previous statewide lake study.
This project will promulgate a nitrate water quality standard to address aquatic life toxicity, and gather information needed to support the development of total nitrogen (N) loading reduction strategies for Minnesota’s waters and also address Minnesota’s contribution to marine water hypoxia. Project will also develop a framework for a watershed nitrogen planning aid that can be used to optimize selection of Best Management Practice (BMP) systems for reducing nitrogen.
Common carp, introduced from eastern Europe over a century ago, are an invasive species in Minnesota that adversely affect water quality and aquatic communities, particularly in shallow lakes and wetlands. While solutions for suppressing common carp reproduction and abundance are emerging, controlling the movement of common carp, and therefore preventing reinfestation, has so far proved difficult.
The Minnesota County Geologic Atlas program is an ongoing effort begun in 1982 that is being conducted jointly by the University of Minnesota's Minnesota Geological Survey and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The program collects information on the geology of Minnesota to create maps and reports depicting the characteristics and pollution sensitivity of Minnesota's ground-water resources.
This project will identify and compile existing nitrate data from groundwaters and surface waters in the Lower Mississippi Basin (LMB) generally and focus on the Root River Watershed. The purpose is to investigate the quantity and quality of existing nitrate data, and to organize it for use in comprehensive watershed strategy development (including assessment, TMDL computation and identification and study of nitrate sources and delivery mechanisms).
This project will quantify and qualify the effectiveness of herbicide treatments and native plant re-establishment at Duck Lake through systematic vegetative surveys pre and post herbicide application and following mid-summer die-off of curly-leaf pondweed. The data and analysis will ultimately be used in the development of TMDLs, implementation and protection strategies for other lakes in the Middle Minnesota Major Watershed.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Geological Survey collected information and conducted an assessment of the hydraulic properties and chemistry of selected aquifers in the metro area. This project greatly improves the accessibility of existing data, which were previously available only in scattered paper reports. A robust database of groundwater age, aquifer hydraulic conductivity and groundwater chemistry data was developed to make the information easily accessible to water resource managers.
Over the last decade, a parasitic disease, Heterosporosis, has spread to infect fish in at least 20 water bodies in Minnesota. The parasite infects a number of economically important fish, making them inedible. As the disease can currently only be detected in its late stages, little is known about how it is transmitted and how best to control it.
This project will determine pre- and post-settlement nutrient trends from sediment chronology, fossil diatom assemblages, and from sediment profiles representing human history in the region (i.e., at least 150 years). Project activities include sample collection; sample preparation; diatom analysis; database creation and management; and data interpretation. Sample cores will be taken on the Lake of the Woods in five major bays (i.e., Four-mile, Muskeg, Sabaskong, Little Traverse, and Big Traverse) in the southern basin.
With a perceived increase in the frequency and intensity of cyanobacterial algal blooms in Lake of the Woods (LOW), there has been an increased effort to collect information about the nature of algal blooms, nutrient concentrations and sources of nutrients to the LOW.
This project will initiate the process of community engagement in the LeSueur River watershed by assessing the needs and interests of the community and bringing a diverse set of stakeholders together to determine how best to foster action in improving and protecting water quality.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Geological Survey evaluated the vulnerability of glacial aquifers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The project improved upon previous vulnerability assessments by incorporating a substantial amount of new aquifer property information and blending methods previously used by the Minnesota Departments of Health and Natural Resources. The result is a consistent vulnerability assessment across the metropolitan area based on the most up-to-date information available.
The Center for Changing Landscapes was directed by the Minnesota State Legislature to create a long-range framework for an integrated statewide parks and trails system that provides information on the natural resource-based recreational opportunities available throughout the state. The detailed framework must include an inventory of existing regionally and statewide significant parks and trails, respond to recreational trends and demographic changes, and identify underserved areas, overused facilities, and gaps in the current parks and trails system (Minn. Gen. Laws 64.8 § 6).
This project will assess the exposure and effects of WWTP effluent on a model vertebrae organism, the fathead minnow. Through a series of controlled experiments, to be conducted on-site of the WWTP utilizing the Mobile Exposure Laboratory Trailer (MELT),SCSU will address (1) onset and timing of acute exposure effects, (2) downstream exposure effects, and (3) reproductive consequences of exposure for male and female fathead minnows. MPCA EAO staff will provide technical assistance and oversight of the project.
Earthworms are common throughout much of Minnesota, but few realize that they are not native to the state and were in fact introduced from Europe and Asia. Earthworms are invasive in Minnesota and have been shown to have large and potentially irreversible impacts on hardwood forest biodiversity and regeneration. As dispersal by human actions is the primary means of introduction and spread of invasive earthworms, there exists great potential to arrest the current spread of earthworms already present and prevent the introduction of additional species.
Because Minnesota is at the juncture of three distinct types of ecosystems - western prairie, northern coniferous forest, and eastern deciduous forest - the region is particularly sensitive to changes in climate conditions. Understanding how the plants, animals, and waterways of Minnesota might respond to these changes will help the state plan for and manage the potential impacts. The University of Minnesota's Department of Forestry is using this appropriation to analyze past climate conditions in Minnesota and make estimates pertaining to changes expected in the foreseeable future.
Native trout require clean, cold water that usually originates from springs, but the springs feeding the 173 designated trout streams in southeastern Minnesota are under increasing pressure from current and expected changes in land use. This joint effort by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is working to identify and map the springs and the areas that feed water to these springs and to learn how these waters might be affected by development and water use.
An emerging practice called "precision conservation" aims to maximize conservation benefits by considering the value of lands in terms of the interconnected systems of which they are a part. By compiling and integrating multiple types of data layers and analysis that are available today, conservation professionals can use the best and most precise information available to identify, prioritize, and guide conservation efforts.
This project will apply science to identify viable and priority wetland restorations and rehabilitations that will deliver sustainable water quality benefit, along with flood storage and habitat benefits. Decision tools will be developed to assist with selection of restoration projects.
The MPCA is undertaking a study to investigate the potential effects of elevated sulfate on the growth of wild rice. One high-priority hypothesis is that the conversion of sulfate to sulfide in anoxic subsurface sediment may harm the roots of wild rice, either directly, or indirectly. The goal of this project is To observe and develop an understanding of exposure of wild rice roots to changes in concentration of sulfide and related chemicals over time and space (depth of sediment and distance from roots).
This project will provide lab analyses and interpretation required for 2012 wild rice field survey. The 2012 lab analyses will be merged with the 2011 field survey data and determine what additional work, if any, is needed during the 2013 field season.
Project outcomes include results from hydroponics experiments, which will likely consist of information on the response of wild rice growth to a range of concentrations of sulfate, sulfide, and various cations. Results from these experiments will be used to help determine what additional research is needed in 2013. The MPCA will use this data to evaluate the current sulfate standard and the need, if any, for modifications to it.
The MPCA is currently collecting additional information needed to evaluate the 10 mg/liter wild-rice-based sulfate standard and has received funding through legislation passed during the 2011 Special Session to implement a wild rice research plan and contract with scientific experts to further understand the effects of sulfate on the growth of wild rice. The goal of this project is to determine responses of wild rice to sulfate and the products of geochemical transformations of sulfate.