This project targets nutrient reductions within the Mayhew and Big Elk Lake watersheds. The Benton Soil and Water Conservation District will work with farmers in implementing a variety of conservation practices including, but not limited to cropland erosion control projects, riparian pasture management, and nutrient management and feedlot pollution control systems. These strategies were identified through Total Daily Maximum Load Studies.
A completed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study has identified mid to late summer phosphorus loading as a significant stressor to lakes and streams within the Big Elk Lake watershed. While this comprehensive study serves its role as the unifying document that identifies pollutants and sources, further work is required in order to develop site-specific Best Management Practices, design these practices, and oversee their implementation in order to reach clean water goals.
The funds requested will provide Big Lake Township with the technical and financial assistance necessary to retrofit up to six locations for stormwater treatment practices within the direct drainage area of Birch Lake, an impaired water body which is very close to meeting state standards. The projects have been identified as high priority in several water quality plans including a TMDL, a subwatershed assessment, the County Water Plan and the Mississippi River (St. Cloud) WRAPS.
The Briggs Lake Chain Association (BLCA) is one of Sherburne County's most proactive lake associations. This sub-grant will provide for approximately 20-30 stormwater reduction best management practices on strategically targeted parcels previously identified as contributing to degraded water quality through Total Maximum Daily Loads, aerial lakeshore analysis and site-reviews conducted by the BLCA.
Funds are to be used to protect, enhance and restore water quality in lakes, rivers and streams and to protect groundwater and drinking water. Activities include structural and vegetative practices to reduce runoff and retain water on the land, feedlot water quality projects, SSTS abatement grants for low income individuals, and stream bank, stream channel and shoreline protection projects. For the fiscal year 2012, BWSR awarded 12 local governments with funds.
This project targets an older residential area that does not have permanent water quality practices. Storm water presently runs directly to the Mississippi River using out of date and under-sized infrastructure. Expanding upon a very successful pilot program for retro-fitting storm water treatment practices in residential neighborhoods, rain gardens will be strategically placed to maximize water quality benefits for each dollar spent. Each rain garden will have a pre-treatment device to help achieve the cost-effective long-term water quality goals of the City.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Environmental Financial Group Inc. generated a matrix of water conservation programs with detailed information about the costs and benefits of the programs. Tools were also developed to allow users to calculate potential water savings, estimate program implementation costs, and test the effects of various water conservation programs and rate structures.
The Elk River Watershed Association Joint Powers Board, via the Sherburne Soil and Water Conservation District, will utilize project funds to implement a pasture and manure management program which will provide technical and financial assistance to large animal/hobby farm owners. Staff will work with identified landowners to implement bacteria reduction best practices such as pasture renovation/management, riparian buffer strips, clean water diversions, vegetated buffer strips, and manure management including composting structures.
The Elk River Watershed Association (ERWSA) was formed to enable Sherburne and Benton Counties to work together to implement Local Water Management Plans. Since its formation in 1994, the ERWSA has primarily focused on working with land owners to reduce non-point sources of pollution within the watershed. Sherburne and Benton SWCD staff have extensive experience installing conservation practices. The ERWSA draws support from Sherburne County, Benton County, and local lake associations.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Barr Engineering Company developed maps and supporting information to characterize the relationship between surface waters and groundwater, identifying surface waters most likely to be impacted by groundwater withdrawals in the region. This project also provided guidance on effective resource monitoring strategies and costs for each type of surface water feature.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Geological Survey collected information and conducted an assessment of the hydraulic properties and chemistry of selected aquifers in the metro area. This project greatly improves the accessibility of existing data, which were previously available only in scattered paper reports. A robust database of groundwater age, aquifer hydraulic conductivity and groundwater chemistry data was developed to make the information easily accessible to water resource managers.
Demand for Engineering services in Northeast Minnesota's nine-county Area III Technical Service Area is exceeding the capacity to deliver the needed services. There are increased requests from Soil and Water Conservation Districts for engineering needed to design and install Best Management Practices in part due to requests related to Clean Water Fund projects. These funds will be used to hire an engineer, which will increase engineering capacity and result in the completion of at least five additional projects per year.
The Knife River is a state protected water and a Designated Trout Stream. It is nationally known as a prime fresh-water steelhead fishery and is managed as a cold-water trout fishery for native species including brook trout. The Knife River is characterized by steep gradients, multiple water-falls and cascades, tea-colored water, and remnant old-growth forest cover types including white pine, Norway pine and white cedar.
This project will help to improve the water quality of Lake of the Woods by providing local staff with the resources necessary for implementing best management practices that will reduce erosion in drainage ditches. The Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will assist the County in developing a process for inventory and inspection of ditches. Public drainage is critical to the local economy and proper drainage management is critical to water quality protection.
When completed, this Lake County-wide culvert inventory project will have multiple direct benefits to water quality protection, natural resource planning, and municipal asset protection. This inventory will be used to provide local and state authorities accurate information on the condition of road crossings, better calibrate hydrological modeling tools crucial to the inter-agency Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) process, and assess how road crossings in Lake County are affecting the water and sediment transport capacity of our waterways.
The sixth largest fresh water lake in the United States, Lake of the Woods has sustained significant shoreline erosion through a number of high water events, high inflows from the Rainy River, sustained strong NW winds, and erodible soils on the southern shore. This project implements strategies to protect and enhance private shoreline on the lake by addressing long-term shoreline management.
This project will implement timber stand improvement activities on over 300 acres of private forest land within the Knife River and Skunk Creek watershed; both are not meeting state water quality standards for turbidity. These activities will culminate in planting diverse, large-statured native trees, resilient in the face of forest pests and diseases, climate change, and deer browse. Through this project, significant areas of the Knife River and Skunk Creek watersheds will have a patchwork of seed sources that will naturally expand the footprint of a healthier forest.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Geological Survey evaluated the vulnerability of glacial aquifers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The project improved upon previous vulnerability assessments by incorporating a substantial amount of new aquifer property information and blending methods previously used by the Minnesota Departments of Health and Natural Resources. The result is a consistent vulnerability assessment across the metropolitan area based on the most up-to-date information available.
It is critical to train new staff, create modeling protocols for new BMPs, refine and calibrate models, and test ever-advancing modeling applications. The Metro Conservation District?s (MCD) Sub-Watershed Analysis (SWA) program provides these capacity-building services and unites efforts across 11 SWCDs. MCD proposes to analyze an additional 15 subwatersheds. The analyses will identify the location and estimated cost/benefit relationship for BMPs, evolve with new technology, and share discoveries metro-wide.
Through a long standing partnership, this project will continue to implement a process formalized with a 2010 Clean Water Fund Grant to conduct stormwater sub-watershed assessments. The goal of the sub-watershed assessments is to accelerate water quality improvements by focusing efforts in high priority areas. Specifically, subwatershed assessments are a tool used to identify the most effective urban stormwater conservation practice by location.
This project combines the use of automated soil moisture probes for irrigation scheduling with diverse cover crop planting to reduce or eliminate leaching of nitrogen and other nutrients on cropland with an early season harvested crop in the rotation. The more efficient use of irrigation waters provides a secondary benefit: less withdrawal from the aquifers that provide recharge for the Mt. Simon-Hinckley aquifer.
Northern white cedar wetland plant communities provide unique ecological, economic, and wetland functions, including high value timber, long-term carbon storage, winter refuge for deer and other wildlife, wildlife habitat, and thermal buffering for brook trout streams. However, these plant communities have been declining in Minnesota for decades mostly as a result of development impacts. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is using this appropriation to continue efforts aimed at improving the quantity and quality of white cedar wetland plant communities in Minnesota.
Resort owners and recreational enthusiasts rely on Bostic and Zippel Bays to provide them with protected access to Lake of the Woods. Without these bays, access to the large lake would be very limited. Tourism, specifically water recreation, is a mainstay of the local economy. Complaints of limited navigability within the bays and reports of annual dredging made these watersheds the priority concern in the Local Water Management Plan.
This program will develop and implement stormwater management plans and shoreline restoration projects with community partners. Community partners for this program will include but are not limited to: non-profits, businesses, and faith organizations within the Rainy River-Baudette watershed.
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 goal of the project is the reduction of nitrates in the groundwater by promoting and implementing best management practices and alternative management tools in the priority areas of Sherburne County. Practices included in the application are: Cover crops, irrigation water management , and nutrient management. Additional incentives included are for the Conservation Reserve Program. District Staff will also plant at least one acre of demonstration plots which will be highlighted at an annual field day.
Sherburne County's Local Water Management Plan identifies eutrophication of lakes (heavy algae blooms) caused by excess phosphorus, loss of aquatic vegation, and loss of riparian vegetation. Removal of natural vegetation near the waters edge in developed and agricultural areas has caused loss of fish and wildlife habitat, increased runoff, and allowed bank erosion. The District will address sources of phosphorus and sediment for three important surface waters in the County. In all, phosphorus will be reduced by 355 pounds and sediment will be reduced by 400 tons per year.
The Minnesota Soil Survey is an ongoing effort by the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that is systematically collecting and mapping data pertaining to soil types and other soil properties in each county of the state. Soils data is used by governments, farmers, and other businesses for a number of purposes from protection and restoration of soil, water, wetlands, and habitats to agricultural soil management to building construction.
Imminent Health Threat (IHT) systems are those that are discharging improperly treated human waste onto the ground surface or into surface waters. In addition to the potential water quality impacts, untreated sewage has the potential to introduce bacteria and viruses into the environment. When IHT systems are identified, county or city staff assist the homeowners through the process required to bring their systems into compliance with the septic ordinance.
The Stewart River is a state protected water and a Designated Trout Stream. In 2010, it was identified as a high priority watershed during the update of the Lake County Water Management Plan. The river empties into Lake Superior near the drinking water intake for the City of Two Harbors.
This project will restore five severely eroding streambank sites along a 1.5 mile reach of the Stewart River. Commitments have been secured from the five property owners, including the Lake County Highway Department, to complete the project.
A new GIS technician will help prioritize and target conservation activities and protection strategies in nine north-central Minnesota counties. The GIS technician will create GIS products, assessments, and watershed analysis to identify the high priority areas in each County or watershed in need of protection or restoration using all available data, including LiDAR, soils, land use, completed WRAPS and other datasets. These areas will then be targeted for future resource management efforts, Clean Water Fund projects, and additional conservation activities.
This project will build off the success of the additional geographic information system (GIS) and water planning expertise the TSA8 added in 2016 to provide consistent mapping, water planning assistance and training to partners. This project will help soil and water conservation districts prepare for the 1W1P process before the planning starts. A unified protection methodology is essential for the 1W1P process to be successful. This project will include: unified GIS mapping and protection model for all nine counties respectively.
State law charges the Metropolitan Council (Council) with developing and maintaining a base of technical information needed for sound water supply decisions (Minnesota Statutes 473.1565). The Council’s primary tool to provide this information is the Metro Model 2, a regional groundwater model capable of predicting the impacts of planned water demand on aquifers and connected lakes and streams. The Metro Model 2 is a modern and comprehensive groundwater model of the Twin Cities area, but it is currently out-of-date.
Regional recharge modeling with the Twin Cities daily soil water balance (SWB) model has been a fundamental part of the Metropolitan Council’s groundwater flow modeling effort and supports the Metropolitan Area Master Water Supply Plan. The SWB model is used to evaluate the impact of planned and potential land use and climate on recharge in the eleven-county metropolitan area, and supports the ongoing update of the regional groundwater flow model.
This project is designed to complete an inventory and assessment of existing stormwater infrastructure in the cities of Two Harbors and Silver including mapping urban surface and sub-surface storm water flow to determine flow paths, pour points, and areas of limited storm water infrastructural capacity. The results of this assessment will be an assessment with prioritized and targeted opportunities for municipal infrastructure retrofits or best management practice installation on both public and private land.
Lake of the Woods is a world-class fishery and an important economic driver for Roseau County. The proposed project will investigate and quantify sources of sediment to the lower portion of the Warroad River near its confluence with Lake of the Woods. Sedimentation at the mouth of the Warroad River is a concern for several reasons including fisheries habitat, water quality and the drinking water supply for the city of Warroad.
Lake of the Woods (LOW) is a resource with local, regional, state, and international significance and is the second largest lake in Minnesota. Over the past three decades the Warroad River Harbor in LOW has experienced severe sedimentation problems. The sedimentation has led to frequent dredging to remove excess sediment and protect this vital resource. However, it is unsustainable to continue dredging the harbor without also addressing the sources of upstream sediment within the Warroad River watershed.