Funds are to be used to protect, enhance and restore water quality in lakes, rivers and streams and to protect groundwater and drinking water. Activities include structural and vegetative practices to reduce runoff and retain water on the land, feedlot water quality projects, SSTS abatement grants for low income individuals, and stream bank, stream channel and shoreline protection projects. For the fiscal year 2012, BWSR awarded 12 local governments with funds.
The Hubbard County Community Partners Conservation Program will give community groups the resources necessary to build interest in, and awareness of, the water quality challenges facing their lakes and empower them to make positive improvements in the form of reduced stormwater runoff. Through the design of a collaborative effort, the Hubbard Soil and Water Conservation District and Local Water Plan Task Force will enable Hubbard County residents and lake home owners to work together to address the effects of development with stormwater runoff solutions.
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 project will help to improve the water quality of Lake of the Woods by providing local staff with the resources necessary for implementing best management practices that will reduce erosion in drainage ditches. The Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will assist the County in developing a process for inventory and inspection of ditches. Public drainage is critical to the local economy and proper drainage management is critical to water quality protection.
The sixth largest fresh water lake in the United States, Lake of the Woods has sustained significant shoreline erosion through a number of high water events, high inflows from the Rainy River, sustained strong NW winds, and erodible soils on the southern shore. This project implements strategies to protect and enhance private shoreline on the lake by addressing long-term shoreline management.
Northern white cedar wetland plant communities provide unique ecological, economic, and wetland functions, including high value timber, long-term carbon storage, winter refuge for deer and other wildlife, wildlife habitat, and thermal buffering for brook trout streams. However, these plant communities have been declining in Minnesota for decades mostly as a result of development impacts. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is using this appropriation to continue efforts aimed at improving the quantity and quality of white cedar wetland plant communities in Minnesota.
The 400-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from its headwaters at Lake Itasca to Morrison County near Little Falls is the focus of this project. Working in cooperation with the eight member counties, this project will develop implementation plans and strategies geared specifically for the Mississippi River and incorporate them into the individual County Comprehensive Local Water Plans. These recommendations will be for specific strategies, often crossing county boundaries for implementation.
Resort owners and recreational enthusiasts rely on Bostic and Zippel Bays to provide them with protected access to Lake of the Woods. Without these bays, access to the large lake would be very limited. Tourism, specifically water recreation, is a mainstay of the local economy. Complaints of limited navigability within the bays and reports of annual dredging made these watersheds the priority concern in the Local Water Management Plan.
This program will develop and implement stormwater management plans and shoreline restoration projects with community partners. Community partners for this program will include but are not limited to: non-profits, businesses, and faith organizations within the Rainy River-Baudette watershed.
This project will provide land and water managers in the Red River Basin with data and online tools to prioritize actions on the landscape that achieve water quality objectives identified in local and state plans. This will help identify strategically important locations for implementing erosion control and water management practices. Standardized watershed-based data products will be integrated into a web-based planning tool which will be added to the Red River Basin Decision Information Network (RRBDIN) being developed as part of the Red River Watershed Feasibility Study.
This pilot program protected 1,210 acres of wild rice lake shoreland habitat in the Northern Forest Section by securing 14 permanent RIM conservation easements and four fee-title acquisitions, surpassing our goal of 700 acres, and doing so $250,202 under budget.
Imminent Health Threat (IHT) systems are those that are discharging improperly treated human waste onto the ground surface or into surface waters. In addition to the potential water quality impacts, untreated sewage has the potential to introduce bacteria and viruses into the environment. When IHT systems are identified, county or city staff assist the homeowners through the process required to bring their systems into compliance with the septic ordinance.
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.
This project will build off the success of the additional geographic information system (GIS) and water planning expertise the TSA8 added in 2016 to provide consistent mapping, water planning assistance and training to partners. This project will help soil and water conservation districts prepare for the 1W1P process before the planning starts. A unified protection methodology is essential for the 1W1P process to be successful. This project will include: unified GIS mapping and protection model for all nine counties respectively.
Lake of the Woods is a world-class fishery and an important economic driver for Roseau County. The proposed project will investigate and quantify sources of sediment to the lower portion of the Warroad River near its confluence with Lake of the Woods. Sedimentation at the mouth of the Warroad River is a concern for several reasons including fisheries habitat, water quality and the drinking water supply for the city of Warroad.
Lake of the Woods (LOW) is a resource with local, regional, state, and international significance and is the second largest lake in Minnesota. Over the past three decades the Warroad River Harbor in LOW has experienced severe sedimentation problems. The sedimentation has led to frequent dredging to remove excess sediment and protect this vital resource. However, it is unsustainable to continue dredging the harbor without also addressing the sources of upstream sediment within the Warroad River watershed.
Twenty six easements protecting 1,173.3 were recorded which exceeded the original proposal by 173 acres (15%). 11.6 miles of shoreline were protected which exceeded the 8 acre goal by 30%. Total expenditure was $1,355,000 which was 17% lower than originally budgeted. No fee-title land acquisition opportunities on wild rice lakes that fit within DNR and other government agency land plans were available during this time period thus DU did not expend any of the $100,000 budgeted for fee-title acquisition. Instead the program focused on RIM easements.