The Cannon River Watershed is a diverse watershed from the standpoint of topography, land use, and land cover, but a central issue of concern is increased sedimentation and turbidity within the river. One of the best ways to keep sediment from entering the Cannon River is to install vegetative buffers on the smaller tributaries in the upper reaches of the watershed. This project is important as it aims to help identify strategic locations where buffers are needed and to assist landowners to install buffers that will directly help reduce sedimentation within the watershed.
Residents of Oronoco historically depended on individual wells for all of their potable water needs. Most of these wells are shallow or sand point types and may have elevated levels of nitrates.The City of Oronoco recently completed the first phase of a municipal water system project that will lessen the citizen dependence on individual wells. As residents are connected to the municipal system their existing wells are no longer needed. The wells should be sealed to prevent possible contamination of the city wells.Grant funds will be used to assist with the cost of sealing these wells.
The Straight River runs through Owatonna and is considered a priority water resource for the city. Untreated stormwater from city roofs, streets and parking lots are jeopardizing the water quality of river. Through this project, the city will install four rain gardens in city parks that will capture and rapidly absorb stormwater runoff from streets and driveways. The implentation of these rain gardens throughout the city will reduce the volume of stormwater entering the Straight 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.
High sediment levels in streams are prevalent throughout South Eastern Minnesota. Installing proven and cost-effective conservation practices that collectively reverse these impairments while also meeting flood protection and ecosystem support goals are needed. The purpose of this project is to design, construct, and maintain two retention structures and restore approximately one mile of failed stream bank. This project integrates objectives of Olmsted County, the Department of Natural Resources and City of Rochester into a common project.
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 Whitewater River is one of Minnesota's most scenic and best loved rivers. The Whitewater's pools are home to brown, brook and rainbow trout, making the river one of the state's most popular trout fishing areas. Yet, water quality is of concern. Abnormal rainfall events in Southeastern Minnesota have increased stormwater runoff which equates to increased flows, erosion and sedimentation into the Whitewater and other local streams like the Zumbro River.
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.