This project will support a civic engagement cohort that will be offered in southwest Minnesota to foster partnering and build capacity of local government, organizations, and residents for effective civic engagement in water protection and restoration. This project will also build networks and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection. The cohort will be administered through the Minnesota River Board (MRB), established in 1995 with a goal of focusing water management efforts on the local level.
This project will consist of identifying the candidate causes of biological stress and to develop and implement a public and stakeholder participation process that encourages local ownership of water quality problems and solutions. The Stressor ID process will be done using existing data, identifying data gaps, gathering new data, developing load duration curves, and refinement of the candidate causes. The civic engagement work will include compiling and reviewing existing data on community capacity and assessing that information.
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 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:
The purpose of this effort is to create an educational video that will “bring to life” geo-scientific information related to groundwater movement in southeast Minnesota. This video will be used by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and other regional partners to help explain the local geology and related groundwater movement. It is anticipated that the video will be used at meetings and other events related to water resource management and natural resource issues. In addition, three stand alone high resolution graphics will be created.
The VRWJPO is pursuing a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) project in cooperation with the MPCA in order to better identify the sources of stress and impairment to the river, tributaries, and lakes and evaluate the feasibility of reaching water quality goals, and properly allocating pollution reduction goals to those areas identified as likely pollution sources. Successful restoration and protection outcomes are dependent on successful community building and ownership of both the problems and solutions identified in the WRAPS.
The goal is to develop the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) and a public and stakeholder participation process that encourages local involvement in water quality discussions and solutions, identifying impaired waters, developing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs); and planning, setting priorities, and implementing the WRAPS recommendation to restore impaired waters. Phase II of the WRAPS will consists of developing TMDLs for the impaired reaches as well as developing the final WRAPS document and implementation planning.