The goal of this project is to continue and finalize Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model construction and complete the calibration/validation process. The project will add representation of point source discharges to the model, compile flow and water quality data for the purposes of calibration and validation. The end result will be an HSPF watershed model that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs.
This project will construct, calibrate, a set of HSPF watershed models covering the entire area of the Lake of the Woods drainage, including the Rainy River watershed. The consultant will produce HSPF models that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs. The consultant will clearly demonstrate that these models generate predicted output timeseries for hydrology which are consistent with available sets of observed data.
This project will construct, calibrate, and validate an HSPF watershed model for the Lake of the Woods River watershed. The consultants will produce HSPF watershed models that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs. The consultants will clearly demonstrate that the models generate predicted output time series for hydrology, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen that are consistent with available sets of observed data.
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been decimating ash throughout the Great Lake States and is currently advancing into Minnesota, threatening the future of the ash forests that occur across much of the state. Of particular concern is the impact EAB will have on the ecology and functioning of black ash swamps, which cover over one million acres in Minnesota and represent the state’s most common ash forest type. Black ash trees grow and thrive in swamps and occupy a unique wet niche where few other tree species grow.
Minnesota has 9.5 million acres of public forest lands that play an important role in sustaining Minnesota’s environment and economy. The policies and programs used by public timber sale programs can impact post-harvest ecological conditions and have pronounced effects on the composition, structure, and productivity of the forest in the future. Additionally, timber harvesting revenues play an important role in economic activity, employment, and tax revenue.
Over 527,000 acres of unmanaged woodlands are being used for livestock grazing throughout Minnesota. Managing these grazed woodlands based on the use of best management practices can provide environmental and economic opportunities, including improved water quality, maximized forage production, and higher-quality timber. The best management practices involved are commonly used in other parts of the country with other types of ecosystems, but have not been widely adopted in Minnesota due to a lack of knowledge and experience with implementing them within the ecosystems of Minnesota.
This project will complete spatial and temporal revisions of 6 Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) models, the recalibration and validation of 7 watershed HSPF models, and the revision of the drainage network and point source representation of the Pomme de Terre HSPF model.
Minnesota has 15.9 million acres of forest land managed by a variety of county, state and federal agencies, and private landowners for timber production, wildlife habitat, and ecological considerations. Forest managers rely on inventory data to make effective planning and management decisions. Because forests are continually changing through natural and human processes, forest inventory data is periodically updated. However, doing so is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor and, as a result, much of Minnesota’s forest inventory data is currently out of date.
This project will determine pre- and post-settlement nutrient trends from sediment chronology, fossil diatom assemblages, and from sediment profiles representing human history in the region (i.e., at least 150 years). Project activities include sample collection; sample preparation; diatom analysis; database creation and management; and data interpretation. Sample cores will be taken on the Lake of the Woods in five major bays (i.e., Four-mile, Muskeg, Sabaskong, Little Traverse, and Big Traverse) in the southern basin.
This project will complete the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study and Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) for the Lake Superior North watershed. Two segments of the Flute Reed River are impaired for aquatic life due to elevated turbidity and total suspended solids. The lower Poplar River is also listed as impaired but significant progress has occurred in the last 10 years. A TMDL and implementation plan have been completed for the lower Poplar River impairment. All other waters meet water quality standards and will be considered for protection measures.
Previous research by the St. Croix Watershed Research Station (SCWRS) has identified lake physics (temperature and oxygen) and nutrient recycling (nitrogen and phosphorus) as key drivers of lake algal blooms. SCWRS will conduct monitoring consistent with the prior research efforts by re-deploying three moored buoys to collect data throughout the 2019 ice-free season, including surface water samples. Additionally, SCWRS will deploy an in situ flourometer to measure total algae and cyanobacteria concentrations and will collect and analyze cyanobacterial toxins.
This project is to conduct water chemistry monitoring at two subwatershed sites and two major watershed sites in 2016 and 2017 based on flow conditions, targeting runoff events using protocols defined in the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) Standard Operating Procedures and Guidance. The data collected will be submitted to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and used for calculating pollutant loads.
With a perceived increase in the frequency and intensity of cyanobacterial algal blooms in Lake of the Woods (LOW), there has been an increased effort to collect information about the nature of algal blooms, nutrient concentrations and sources of nutrients to the LOW.
This project will address Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA), and public comments on draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies and Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) reports, preliminary draft TMDL studies, and public noticed TMDL studies and WRAPS reports for the Lower Red River Watershed and the Lake of the Woods Watershed and produce final versions of the TMDL studies and WRAPS reports for each watershed.
Native to the western United States and Canada, mountain pine beetle is considered the most devastating forest insect in North America. Trees usually die as a result of infestation and an unprecedented outbreak in the west is currently decimating pine forests there. While mountain pine beetle is not presently believed to reside in Minnesota, there are risks posed by an expanding species range resulting from warming climate and the potential for accidental introduction via lumber imports from infested areas.
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.
The goal of this project is to development a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study that addresses all of the non-mercury-related impaired reaches along the Red River of the North (RRN). The TMDL study will provide an analytical and strategic foundation for recommending restoration strategies for impaired waters. This phase of the project will also include civic engagement efforts by providing water quality framework and stakeholder activities for civic/citizen engagement and communication.