The Wright SWCD applied for, and received, a Soil Erosion and Drainage Law Compliance grant in 2015. This grant was used to inventory Joint Ditch 15 (JD 15) for areas that could benefit from the installation of Side Inlet Control Structures (SICS) and vegetated buffer strips (buffers). JD 15 is known to have areas of significant erosion that effect both benefited landowners as well as a number of impaired waters downstream. The impaired downstream waters include Sucker Creek, Cokato Lake, and the North Fork Crow River. The JD 15 Inventory was completed during the summer of 2015.
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.
This project will use the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District's existing Conservation Initiative Funding program to provide technical assistance and monetary incentives for targeted, medium-sized projects such as raingardens, bioinfiltration, biofiltration, bioswales, shoreline stabilizations, and other best management practices (BMPs). Project proposals will be solicited from faith based organizations, homeowner associations, school organizations, lake associations, and others that own or manage large areas of land.
The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District will hire an Accelerated Water Quality Technician to focus on projects in the Middle Sauk area showing the greatest pollution reductions. After identifying and prioritizing targeted sites with the highest pollution potential, the Stearns County SWCD will begin surveys and designs and complete them in a timely fashion while current implementation funds are available. The accelerated survey and design in Stearns County will relieve our natural resources of the current strain put on them by the environment and land use.
The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure and is not duplicated by any other source of funding.The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses.
The Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will implement a targeted fertilizer application program in the Ann Lake watershed, allowing producers to measure soil fertility and apply needed fertilizer more accurately, preventing over-application and consequent runoff of nutrients, especially phosphorus, into surface waters. Phosphorus reduction will help meet the goals of the County's Water Management Plan and the TMDL implementation plan for Ann Lake.
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.
Once thought to have an essentially inexhaustible groundwater supply, Minnesotans are now realizing our rates of use are regionally unsustainable. Recent advanced modeling by the MN DNR and Metropolitan Council of aquifer supplies, in conjunction with predicted demand, indicate the major metropolitan area aquifers are currently subject to extraction rates that exceed recharge. Simply stated, we are mining our groundwater.
This project will assess the ability of using cover crops as a best management practice to reduce nitrate leaching loss from corn and soybean acres. This contract provides funding for the coordination, outreach and field work to support implementation of the Cannon River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) nitrogen strategy (cover crop application) in Rice Creek. Funding for the actual best management practice (BMP)cost-sharing has been secured via other sources.
Sediment and water quality issues are local priorities within the Thief River and Red Lake River watersheds, which have their confluence in the city of Thief River Falls. The 1W1P effort underway in the Red Lake River Watershed will identify opportunities for projects and practices that are targeted and result in measurable water quality benefits throughout the watershed using PTMApp.
The Wright Soil and Water Conservation District has partnered with the Crow River Organization of Waters (CROW) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on phase two of this comprehensive sediment reduction project to focus on stabilizing five of the most active gully erosion sites in targeted subwatersheds on the North Fork Crow River, as well as use the installed best management practices to help promote future conservation practices.
This project will conduct a 2017 revision of the South Fork Crow River, North Fork Crow River and Sauk River Watershed Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) models and review of the Pine River Watershed HSPF model.
The project goal is to conduct water chemistry monitoring at five subwatershed sites and two basin sites annually from 2016-2019, 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 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and used in the FLUX32 model for calculating pollutant loads.
The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District is home to many natural resource organizations, all of which have a vested interest in the quality of local and regional resources. The District will provide financial assistance in the format of sub-grants to local partners to implement Best Management Practices to improve water quality.
Diamond Lake and its neighboring lakes feature numerous public water accesses, resorts, parks, and trails and are supported by the recreational and aesthetic values that good water quality provides. In 2006, Diamond Lake was placed on MPCA's List of Impaired Waters. Improving water quality in Diamond Lake to meet state standards is a top-ranking priority for the district.
The Sauk River Watershed District (SRWD) is the drainage authority for Stearns and Pope Counties. The SRWD manages 12 public drainage systems totaling over 90 miles. The majority of the public systems provide drainage for agricultural land uses and were constructed in the early 1900s.
Le Sueur County has completed water quality assessments of its lakes, which are on the impaired waters list for excess nutrients. The Francis Rays Sakatah Tetonka Lakes Septic Inventory project will complete up to 400 shoreland septic compliance inspections, create an ArcMap GIS layer, create community assessment reports on priority areas and provide education and outreach to the public through informational meetings and website development. The project will also jump-start upgrading non-compliant septic systems.
The German-Jefferson Subordinate Service District Board (board) completed a voluntary septic inventory through the Clean Water Fund in 2013. 344 out of 754 parcels participated in the inventory. Approximately 50% of the septic systems were found to be non-compliant with MN Rules Chapter 7080. That project included an assessment of septic systems on non-participating properties that identified eleven priority areas in populated communities with small lots. Three community feasibility studies out of the eleven priority areas were conducted.
The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District will conduct a river assessment to determine the scope of eroding riverbanks and a stormwater modeling project to identify targeted locations for stormwater management. The river assessment will: 1) verify that streambank erosion is the major contributor of pollutants, including sediment, Phosphorus, and Nitrogen; 2) catalog and quantify the erosion, and; 3) provide an assessment of reductions that could be achieved using specific solutions.
The goal of the Lake Volney Targeted Restoration project is to improve the water quality draining to Lake Volney, which is impaired for excess nutrients. The project contains eight priority areas and will install a variety of Best Management Practices, including stormwater basins, ag retention, wetland enhancement, and more.
The MPCA has selected the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) watershed model to simulate watershed hydrology and water quality to assess various restoration scenarios in the Little Cannon River watershed. The SWAT model is an important tool in developing an understanding of existing conditions and simulating conditions under various management scenarios to inform the development of implementation strategies and plans to restore and protect streams and lakes.
McLeod County will create an inspection database for 103E ditches under their drainage authority. The County will acquire a database software solution to conduct field inspections and to track ditch maintenance projects. This software will be used to facilitate statutory compliance including developing a process for completing the annual inspection and reporting requirements. The project will lead to improving the County's data management capabilities and better identification of drainage system needs that could lead to helping improve water courses that are impaired for turbidity.
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.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) forms the core of a long-term program designed to measure and compare regional differences and trends in pollutant loadings from Minnesota’s mainstem rivers and the outlets of major watersheds and subwatersheds draining to these rivers.
This project aims to improve water quality in the Middle Fork Crow River, as outlined in Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District 10 year Comprehensive Plan. This will be done by evaluating current water quality impacts, implementing best management practices already in the planning stages, and by promoting BMP’s to landowners with the support of a low interest loan program.
The Cannon River Watershed includes approximately 941,000 acres of primarily agricultural landscape. Because of its large size, four subwatershed lobes are often referenced: Straight River Watershed, Upper Cannon River Watershed, Middle Cannon River Watershed, and the Lower Cannon River Watershed. Rice County is proposing utilizing LiDAR topographic data to determine areas of highest importance for Best Management Practice (BMP) Implementation for sediment within the Middle and Lower Cannon subwatersheds.
The purpose of this monitoring project is to maintain water quality data collection, build upon existing data for Phase II of the Intensive Watershed Monitoring approach, and develop a better understanding of what impacts the rivers located in central Minnesota specifically in the North Fork Crow Watershed.
Minnesota Erosion Control Association (MECA) will offer three one-day training session intended to educate permittees on the requirements of the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. The focus of these workshops will be on conducting inspections and various hot topics.
The North Fork Crow River Watershed District will develop an inventory and inspection database for 103E ditches under their drainage authority. The district will acquire a database software solution to conduct field inspections and to track ditch maintenance projects throughout the district. This software will be used to facilitate statutory compliance including developing a process for completing annual inspection and reporting requirements.
This contract will be to initiate the second cycle of the North Fork Crow River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) development. The project will provide needed information and analysis to make sure that implementation strategies are well thought out and targeted. The result will be a framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication, which will contribute to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities throughout the watershed.
The State of Minnesota has adopted a ten year cycle for managing water quality for each of the 80 major watersheds in the state. Every ten years, each major watershed will undergo a surface water assessment and a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) project. The North Fork Crow River WRAPS process is entering its second round which will focus both on addressing data gaps identified in the approved NFCRW Comprehensive Watershed Plan and on addressing additional required Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
This Initiative is a nine-year plan to take a systematic approach to inventory and analyze all Public Waters within the County. Phase 1 includes identifying areas of concern through GIS analysis of current landuse along Public Waters, and the development of a database of non-compliant landowners which will be updated and maintained. Once landowners have been identified they will receive a joint letter and map stating that they may not be in compliance.
The goal of this project is to better target restoration activities in the Cannon River watershed via a paleolimnological study of a selected set of the lakes addressed in the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the watershed. The goals are to better constrain lake phosphorus budgets, and determine the magnitude of ecological change experienced by a range of lake types.
The Douglas County Partners for Clean Water program enables community groups to take action and improve their water resources. Engaging citizens directly in project development and installation efforts provides immediate water quality benefits and cultivates a community of active stewardship.
The goal of this project is to extend, calibrate, and validate the existing Hydrological Simulation Program – FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed models in the Red Lake River, Thief River, Clearwater River and Red Lake watersheds.
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.
Rice Lake, in Stearns County, is an impaired water for nutrients that has a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation plan developed. Rice Lake is one of the larger lakes in the county, offering major water recreation opportunities, economic benefits as well as fish and wildlife habitat. It is a priority for Stearns County to implement projects that have positive impacts on this resource.
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.