The Wright SWCD applied for, and received, a Soil Erosion and Drainage Law Compliance grant in 2015. This grant was used to inventory Joint Ditch 15 (JD 15) for areas that could benefit from the installation of Side Inlet Control Structures (SICS) and vegetated buffer strips (buffers). JD 15 is known to have areas of significant erosion that effect both benefited landowners as well as a number of impaired waters downstream. The impaired downstream waters include Sucker Creek, Cokato Lake, and the North Fork Crow River. The JD 15 Inventory was completed during the summer of 2015.
Little Rock Lake experiences severe algae blooms due to excess phosphorus and these blooms are the worst known regionally. The goal of this project is to reduce algae blooms, improve water clarity, and avoid risk of drinking water contamination. The project will result in installing one farmer nutrient management project , four cover crops, two lakeshore buffer strips, six septic systems that also demonstrated an imminent threat to public health, six erosion control projects , one wetland restored, and one feedlot runoff control system.
These funds will be utilized in cost-share for landowners to install Agricultural Best Management Practices following Little Rock Lake TMDL Implementation Plan. Example of projects include Feedlot Improvements, Waste Storage Facilities, Erosion Control BMPs, Filter Strips and Streambank Stabilizations. An estimated 830 pounds per year of phosphorus and 800 tons of sediment will be reduced annually.
The Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will implement a targeted fertilizer application program in the Ann Lake watershed, allowing producers to measure soil fertility and apply needed fertilizer more accurately, preventing over-application and consequent runoff of nutrients, especially phosphorus, into surface waters. Phosphorus reduction will help meet the goals of the County's Water Management Plan and the TMDL implementation plan for Ann Lake.
In 2002, citizens began to notice severe algal blooms in Cedar Lake, a high value recreational lake with exceptional clarity and fisheries habitat. Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD) began an intensive monitoring program in 2003 to identify nutrient sources and protect Cedar Lake. Through intensive lake and watershed monitoring, CRWD identified the major source of nutrients to the lake. Three nutrient impaired shallow lakes; Swartout, Albion and Henshaw Lakes, in the upper watershed and impaired wetlands discharge excess amounts of soluble phosphorus.
The Wright Soil and Water Conservation District has partnered with the Crow River Organization of Water (CROW) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service on this comprehensive sediment reduction project to focus on stabilizing five of the most active gully erosion sites on the Crow River. A LiDAR study and follow up field inspection identified 15 priority sites within the study area. This particular area was chosen due to the high level of turbidity and low dissolved oxygen within this stretch of the Crow River.
The Wright Soil and Water Conservation District has partnered with the Crow River Organization of Waters (CROW) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on phase two of this comprehensive sediment reduction project to focus on stabilizing five of the most active gully erosion sites in targeted subwatersheds on the North Fork Crow River, as well as use the installed best management practices to help promote future conservation practices.
The Wright Soil and Water Conservation District (Wright SWCD) has partnered with the Crow River Organization of Waters (CROW), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Wright County Planning and Zoning on this bacterial impairment reduction project to bring feedlot operations into compliance in the targeted North Fork Crow River (NFCR) impaired Unnamed Creek watershed. An analysis of the NFCR TMDL for Bacteria, Nutrients, and Turbidity was done to determine the area to be prioritized for further review of livestock operations in order to reduce the E.
The Wright Soil and Water Conservation District has partnered with the Crow River Organization of Water and the Natural Resources Conservation Service on phase three of a comprehensive sediment reduction project that focuses on stabilizing seven of the most active gully erosion sites on the North Fork Crow River. These seven areas were chosen due to the high level of turbidity and low dissolved oxygen within that stretch of the North Fork Crow River, which has led to biological and turbidity impairments.
This site has been monitored for several years due to past storm events causing flood waters that impacted State Highway 371 and Belle Prairie housing developments. This site is contributing large amounts of sediment and is one of the worst erosion sites identified along the Mississippi River in Morrison County.
Little Rock Creek, a cold-water trout stream in central Minnesota, is impaired due to the lack of trout and other cold water fish. The trout are absent because of high water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen and high nitrate levels, stressors caused from a lack of base flow and overuse of groundwater. This project continues a 2011 initiative to assist irrigators in the Little Rock Creek groundwater recharge area with managing the timing and amount of irrigation applied to their crops.
The Little Rock Lake Total Maximum Daily Load study has identified areas in the watershed where phosphorus reduction is needed and what best management practices need to be applied. This is a coordinated implementation effort with Benton and Morrison Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Little Rock Lake Association, the livestock industry and other partners to install best management practices at numerous sites to continue cleaning up Little Rock Lake.
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.
The Morrison County Board has stepped up their efforts to examine septic compliance for any septic not inspected within five years. They assigned the Local Water Plan task force to develop a pilot plan to show how it would work and whether further enforcement action is appropriate.
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.
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 with the assistance of the Board of Water and Soil Resources protects both public health and groundwater by assuring the proper sealing of unused wells.”
The purpose of this project is to create an inventory and priority list of where inlet control and buffer strips are needed along Judicial Ditch 15 to reduce the nutrients, sediment and volume of water being transported by field tile. This will help protect landowner drainage needs, while focusing on applicable best management practices that will reduce on-field and in-channel peak flow erosion. This ditch system is the headwaters to Cokato Lake, which connects to the North Fork Crow River.
The Wright Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will expand its partnership with its USDA partners; this will be the first time that SWCD staff will conduct compliance spot checks for USDA Highly Erodible Land plans. This activity will add a level of certainty that these plans are in compliance.