This monitoring project includes lake and stream monitoring and encompasses all of Cass County, and surrounding counties. The project will obtain water quality data for streams; in 2009, lakeshed assessments indicated that many surface waters throughout the county were data deficient. This project will address the need for sufficient data on a county-wide basis and fulfill the State’s intensive watershed monitoring program goals by obtaining water quality data at targeted lake and stream sites.
The north-central Minnesota counties of Cass and Hubbard share large portions of the Crow Wing River, Leech and Upper Mississippi Watersheds, all of which play an important role in providing clean drinking water to over one million Minnesota residents. Each county assumes the responsibility of inspecting and evaluating the judicial and county ditch systems that drain directly into these watersheds. The two counties together share two judicial ditch systems and combined have an additional 42 ditches within their borders.
This Phase 1 project will support project planning, coordination and civic engagement/outreach components of the Mississippi River (Headwaters) Major Watershed project. Phase 1 of this project will focus towards the development of project teams, identifying stakeholders, developing an initial civic engagement strategic plan and reviewing current and past watershed project data.
Several important milestones will be completed during this phase of the Mississippi River (Headwaters) Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) project. These milestones will include the completion of the Stressor ID & Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Reports, the completion of the Zonation Modeling watershed priority planning process (through the continuation of the Civic Engagement project component), and the development of the overall WRAPS report.
The goal of this project is complete a dataset necessary for assessment of 6 stream sites and 11 lakes within the Mississippi Headwaters Watershed to determine the overall health of its water resources, to identify impaired waters, and to identify those waters in need of additional protection to prevent future impairments.
A new GIS technician will help prioritize and target conservation activities and protection strategies in nine north-central Minnesota counties. The GIS technician will create GIS products, assessments, and watershed analysis to identify the high priority areas in each County or watershed in need of protection or restoration using all available data, including LiDAR, soils, land use, completed WRAPS and other datasets. These areas will then be targeted for future resource management efforts, Clean Water Fund projects, and additional conservation activities.