Multiple water courses in the Buffalo River - Red River Watershed District are impaired for turbidity. These waterways include the Red River of the North, Wolverton Creek, Deerhorn Creek, Stoney Creek, South Branch Buffalo River, and the main stem of the Buffalo River. This project will provide a means of prioritizing areas of the watershed to implement conservation practices to reduce overland runoff contaminant loadings contributing to water quality impairments.
This water quality improvement project involves the retrofit of county ditch #31 also known as Connelly Ditch. The capacity of the ditch is inadequate and there is a need to reduce sediment and peak flows to it.
The Mustinka River winds through five counties in west central Minnesota and empties into Lake Traverse, a border waters lake with excellent fishing and recreational opportunities. For several years, sections of the river have been negatively impacted from too much soil/sediment eroding from the land and washing away into the water. Excess sediment degrades aquatic habitat and feeds algae blooms.
This project continues a 2011 Clean Water Fund collaborative effort to develop a plan to reduce the amount of sediment washed into the river.
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.
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.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin is a large area within the Watonwan, Le Sueur, and Blue Earth River watersheds. Recent research by University of Minnesota, the National Center for Earth Dynamics, and others has found this basin to be the largest contributor of sediment to Lake Pepin.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA), a nine County/SWCD JPO has identified buffers as a basin priority. This initiative will work towards the goal of identifying all DNR protected shoreland in the GBERBA counties without a 50 foot vegetative buffer. Buffer strips protect surface and groundwater from a multitude of pollutants. During stormwater run off events buffers can remove between 50 and 100 percent of nutrients, pesticides, pathogens, and sediment. The estimated sediment reduction for this project is 756 tons per year prevented from entering our waters.
The Whiskey Creek project involves a coordinated and comprehensive approach to watershed management. This project consists of installing conservation practices that reduce sediment loading to Whiskey Creek while also providing flood reduction benefits to downstream landowners.
Wolverton Creek is a 25 mile long tributary to the Red River of the North. Its watershed drains approximately 105 square miles located in Wilkin and western Clay Counties. Wolverton Creek is the outlet for numerous ditch systems and natural drainage in the area and is a significant contributor of sediment to the Red River. The City of Moorhead and other downstream communities obtain drinking water from the Red River. Since 85% of Moorhead's drinking water comes from the Red River, high turbidity results in
higher treatment costs for their drinking water system.