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 includes project planning, coordination, stream reconnaissance, and begins the effort towards civic engagement/outreach components of the South Fork Crow River Watershed project. Phase I will focus towards the development of project teams, identifying stakeholders, developing an initial civic engagement strategic plan and conducting limited lake and stream monitoring.
This project will complete a Watershed Restoration and Protection (WRAP) Plan that includes a set of pollutant reduction and watershed management strategies to achieve water quality standards for the listed pollutants, and that are understood and adoptable by local units of government and other stakeholders. This project will also provide an important water quality framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication, which will contribute to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities throughout the watershed.
Approximately 70 percent of all Minnesotans rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water. Wells used for drinking water must be properly sealed when removed from service to protect both public health and Minnesota’s invaluable groundwater resources. The Minnesota Department of Health protects both public health and groundwater by assuring the proper sealing of unused wells.
Clean Water funds are being provided to well owners as a 50% cost-share assistance for sealing unused public water-supply wells.
Phase I built the foundation for the South Fork Crow River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) and created a civic engagement plan. Civic engagement strategies were identified to create greater communication and watershed activities. Phase II provided the analytical and strategic foundation essential to prescribing protection and restoration strategies. These strategies focus on both protecting current fully supporting and restoring impaired surface water resources to water quality standards in the South Fork watershed.