As the City of Wadena is being re-built after an EF4 tornado, it has become evident that more needs to be done to reduce runoff by retaining or diverting stormwater. The purpose of this project is to provide subgrants to citizens to install various conservation practices on their properties including grassed waterways, rain gardens and tree plantings. Through this subgrant program the citizens of Wadena will have a greater understanding of the importance of stormwater management.
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.
A large portion of Wadena County has been identified as having a high or moderate probability of elevated nitrate concentrations. With almost all of the residents in Wadnea County getting there drinking water from groundwater sources, this issue is a top priority to the county. Through this project, nitrates and other water soluble contaminants leacing into sensitive sand plain aquifers will be reduced by providing cost-share incentives to encourage irrigation producers to convert high or medium pressure irrigation systems to low pressure systems.
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.