The project work for this effort includes watershed wide civic engagement and technical support to the final years of Watershed Restoration And Protection Strategy (WRAPS) work. Communication to stakeholders and other key civic based activities to share WRAPS information will be completed. The Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will also provide technical support to aid completion of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report and help define protection and restoration strategies for the watershed.
The purpose of this project is to identify effective irrigation and nutrient management best management practices and technologies and the barriers that prevent irrigators, producers, and other agricultural partners from adopting them in Otter Tail County. The primary goal is to reduce nitrate in areas where groundwater is susceptible to contamination as mapped by The Minnesota Department of Health by identifying effective BMPs and addressing the barriers to their adoption.
This project provides fiscal resources for Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District for civic engagement activities in the Lake Superior South, North, and Cloquet watersheds for Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS). This project also includes provide funding for water chemistry monitoring assistance and diagnostic field work that will fill identified monitoring gaps and stressors within the Lake Superior South watershed.
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.
The Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead on implementing conservation practices that protect water quality. Those who implement and maintain approved conservation practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years. This program will help address concerns about changing regulatory requirements from multiple state and federal agencies.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA) along with Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Counties, landowners, and drainage authorities in the ten member counties will install conservation drainage practices to improve water quality. 103E drainage systems with documented sediment or water quality issues are the focus with the goal of installing 52 practices such as improved side inlets (grade stabilization structures), alternative tile inlets, denitrifying bioreactors, saturated buffers, storage wetlands and others.
The purpose of this project is to develop a detailed tool that can be used in all watersheds within the Otter Tail and Becker counties to prioritize, target, and measure implementation practices at the field scale. The PTM App will significantly increase the targeting capabilities in Otter Tail and Becker Counties. The Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy has not been completed for Otter Tail County, yet, and the PTM App will be able to assist targeting and prioritizing when those documents are created.
This project will result in the development of three critical pieces of information. They include: 1. Development of restoration and protection strategies for all waterbodies in the district relative to the State's Non-point Source Funding plan 2. Use of PTMApp to tie the WRAPs implementation tables from the Buffalo and Red River Watersheds to targeted on-the-ground projects and practices that will provide measurable water quality improvements, and 3.
Realizing the need for increased technical capacity in the field offices, the Becker, East Otter Tail and West Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation Districts have developed an agreement that will increase technical capacity while minimizing costs to each district. The first step was taken in this agreement through the recent hire of a shared engineer. Currently, minimal survey grade equipment is owned by the districts. This grant will be used to purchase an integrated survey system.
This project will augment data collection efforts for the Lake Superior South, Cloquet, St. Louis River, and Duluth Urban Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) projects. Activities include: attaining datasets for watershed stressors and geomorphic conditions, water quality gap monitoring, and civic engagement. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been collaborating with the South St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) to complete WRAPS related technical and civic engagement work in the Lake Superior basin for the past five years.
The Upper Buffalo River Sediment Reduction Project area lies in the first major land use transition within the buffalo's flowage, where intact forests and modestly developed lakes give way to altered hydrology and tilled fields of highly productive soils near the top of the Red River Basin. This abrupt change in land use within the watershed is directly linked to stream impairments within the project area.
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.