This project will build network and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection in Southeast Minnesota. The cohort will be administered through the Southeast Minnesota Water Resources Board (SE MN WRB) which is an area wide Joint Powers Board (JPB) established to help improve and protect the water resources of the area through coordinating local water planning efforts. This JPB has successfully administered water quality grants in the past that have positively impacted the water resources of this region.
The University of Minnesota will develop effective interview questions for community watershed assessments in the Rainy River basin and provide assistance in understanding the data collected through community interviews.
There are seven major watersheds Koochiching County, this project will work in five of them: Big Fork, Little Fork, Rapid River, Lower Rainy River, and Rainy River Headwaters watersheds. The local Koochiching County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is positioned to assist in several elements of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process. This includes gap monitoring for water chemistry, sediment work, TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) development, modeling scenarios, and WRAPS development.
This project will provide an important framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication in the International Rainy River-Lake of the Woods Watershed, which will contribute to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities.
The Root River Field to Stream Partnership is a collaborative effort led by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in partnership with Fillmore, Mower, and the Root River Soil and Water Conservation Districts, local farmers, crop advisers, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center, and the Nature Conservancy.Together, project partners are addressing the following key questions:What is the range of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus losses from agricultural fields in southeast Minnesota?