Two large, actively eroding gullies located a few miles apart in Amador Township are contributing tremendous loads of phosphorus and sediment to the St. Croix River. One gully (Gully A) includes a major agricultural gully, severe road erosion, and sediment deposits of a foot or more thick in a state park. The second gully (Gully B) is over 4 feet deep, adjacent to a road, and is an annual problem. Stabilizing these two gullies will greatly reduce the sediment and phosphorus loading to the St. Croix River, which will help meet the reduction goal of the Lake St.
Using a previous escarpment gully project as a model, the Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District will complete a similar inventory of actively eroding gullies along the Lower Sunrise River from the Kost Dam south to the confluence with the St. Croix, which includes the North Branch of the Sunrise, Hay Creek, and the Sunrise River main branch. There are major erosion issues along this stretch of river, no organized and efficient way to begin work in the area. The inventory report will provide the missing link.
The Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District has been successful in implementing Best Management Practices in certain targeted locations within the county, including the prioritized and assessed areas of Chisago City, Lindstrom, and Center City. However, there are many areas that want to implement conservation projects but aren't within targeted areas. This award will empower community partners, especially lake associations, to award grants for rain gardens, shoreline buffers, and other worthwhile projects to improve water quality.
The Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has had such great success implementing gully stabilization projects along the St. Croix River escarpment that all of the current grant funding has been encumbered towards projects. Two large gully projects, one in the City of Taylors Falls and a second nearby in Interstate State Park, are lined up and ready to go as soon as funding is secured. Both of these gullies are large and have been actively eroding for many years, depositing large loads of sediment and phosphorus directly into the St. Croix River.
These funds are being used to systematically collect data and produce statistically valid estimates of the rate of soil erosion and tracking the adoption of high residue cropping systems in in the 67 counties with greater than 30% land in agricultural row crop production. Designed to establish a long term program in Minnesota to collect data and produce county, watershed, and state wide estimates of soil erosion caused by water and wind along with tracking adoption of conservation measures to address erosion.
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.
Goose, East and West Rush Lakes are not meeting state water quality standards due to excessive phosphorus. These are three of the worst lakes in Chisago County in terms of water quality, yet also some of the most heavily used lakes for recreation. The quality of the water in the St. Croix River is directly influenced by the poor quality water leaving East Rush, West Rush, and Goose Lakes.
These funds are being used to systematically collect data and produce statistically valid estimates of the rate of soil erosion and tracking the adoption of high residue cropping systems in counties with greater than 30% land in agricultural row crop production. Designed to establish a long term program in Minnesota to collect data and produce county, watershed, and state wide estimates of soil erosion caused by water and wind along with tracking adoption of conservation measures to address erosion.
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 Chisago Lakes Chain of Lakes watershed in southern Chisago County is made up of 18 lakes and outlets to the St. Croix River through the Sunrise River. The top 20 urban and rural projects around North and South Center Lakes that are identified in the Rural Subwatershed Assessment and Urban Stormwater Retrofit Analysis reports will be the top priority of this application. The goal is a phosphorus reduction of 100 pounds (4%) to North and South Center Lakes.
The Mallery Jerseys dairy farm is critically located along the bluff of the St. Croix River escarpment and drains directly to the St. Croix River. In 2018, a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan was completed and identified a number of additional practices that should be implemented to improve the water quality of the St. Croix River. The proposed practices will reduce the phosphorus and nitrogen by 76 pounds (83%)and 265 pounds (85%) respectively.
A large, actively eroding gully has existed on the campus of Parmly, a senior living complex in Chisago City, for at least 50 years. The gully is on the banks of Green Lake, which is at high risk for becoming impaired in the near future. The Parmly gully project is identified as a source of untreated stormwater and phosphorus loading in the Chisago City urban subwatershed retrofit analysis report. Stabilization of the gully will provide a 20% reduction in phosphorus loading to Green Lake. The staff of Parmly is in full support of the project and a design is complete.
The St. Croix River escarpment has been a focal point for the Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District over the past 8 years, and continues to be one of the leading areas of Chisago County in terms of phosphorus reduction projects to Lake St. Croix. Of the original inventory, 16 of the 36 gullies have been stabilized. This application includes the stabilization of 5 gullies. These projects will reduce the phosphorus loading to the St. Croix River by at least 50 pounds per year and sediment loading by at least 50 tons per year.
This project will fully fund three Nonpoint Engineering Assistance (NPEA) Joint Powers Board positions in cooperation with the NPEA Base Funding anticipated at $130,000 per year. This will allow a 2nd Professional Engineer to be retained in addition to a Lead Engineer and Technician. This 'accelerated' engineering previously was funded with BWSR Challenge Grants, and an EPA319 grant with corresponding BWSR CWF Matching Grant to handle the high workload associated with the large number of BWSR feedlot cost-share projects approved in South East Minnesota.
This project will extend two Feedlot Technical positions initially created and funded by a FY2011 CWF Feedlot Water Quality Grant that assess and help fix animal waste runoff from small feedlots. The technicians will work with and under the Technical Authority and priorities of the South East Soil and Water Conservation District Tech Support JPB lead Engineer. This project will enable more projects to be constructed resulting in a reduction of nitrogen, phosphorus and fecal coliform runoff into surface and ground water in South East Minnesota and the Mississippi River.
This project proposes the implementation of 10 best management practices identified as having the lowest cost-benefit ratio as it relates to phosphorus reduction to downstream Moody and Bone Lakes with an estimated reduction to watershed phosphorus loads to Bone Lake by 90 pounds per year and to Moody Lake by 24 pounds per year. The Bone Lake watershed is at the ?top? of the larger watershed, making it an ideal location to begin work that will have direct improvements downstream.
Bone Lake and upstream Moody Lake are the headwaters of the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District northern flow network, and as such, their water quality sets the stage for downstream waters, particularly Comfort Lake, the Sunrise River, and ultimately Lake St. Croix. This project proposes the implementation of six wetland restorations located along the tributary identified as the single highest source of phosphorus loading to Bone Lake. These wetland restorations are estimated to reduce watershed phosphorus loads to Bone Lake by 50 pounds per year.
In 2010, Legislation allocated Clean Water Fund (CWF) dollars to the Anoka Conservation District to initiate an 11 county metro subwatershed assessment program. The purpose of subwatershed assessments is to improve water quality, increase groundwater recharge and reduce runoff volumes. These goals are achieved by identifying opportunities in the subwatersheds most contributing to the degradation of the high priority water bodies and developing designs for Best Management Practices (BMPs) that treat stormwater runoff.
In 2011, the Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) received a Clean Water Fund (CWF) grant to inventory active gully erosion sites along the St. Croix River from the Wild River State Park entrance south to the Chisago/Washington county line. This inventory is now being used to contact landowners with active and severe gully erosion to begin the process of developing a plan correct the problems using Best Management Practices (BMPs).
Nitrogen is a serious problem in Minnesota's Mississippi River Basin and the Dodge Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will address this problem through saturated buffers. Nitrates have been linked to adverse health effects, and nitrogen is the leading cause of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Agriculture drainage through the use of tile drainage systems have been identified as the number one leading source of nitrogen in the Mississippi River Basin.
This project will provide cost-share funds to landowners in vulnerable groundwater areas for the incorporation of cover crops in their crop rotation and to provide education related to nitrogen BMPs through field trials and Nutrient Management Plans. An anticipated 100 producers in highly vulnerable areas, will plant 3,000 acres of cover crops resulting in preventing potentially 19,800 pounds of nitrate from leaching into groundwater.
The goal of this project is to adapt and expand the existing successful Master Water Stewards program to engage citizens and catalyze clean water projects in suburban, exurban and rural communities of Washington and southern Chisago Counties. As part of this project, 20 citizens' stewards will be recruited and trained to work in partnership with the Washington Conservation District and area watershed management organizations to implement clean water projects in identified priority areas.
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.
This project will develop an enhanced street sweeping plan for the City of Forest Lake that optimizes phosphorus removal from increasing sweeping frequency with the cost of additional sweeps. In addition, this project will identify road-specific street sweeping timing and frequency, quantify expected phosphorus load reductions, itemize costs of enhanced street sweeping, and recommend funding options to the City of Forest Lake.
This project will develop an inventory of the Chisago County public ditch system and significant tributaries, including record searching and field verification to identify and confirm locations of existing public ditches. This project will also identify, inventory and evaluate functions, purpose, and necessity of the Chisago County ditch system and determine legal status of ditches, rights, and responsibilities as defined in Minnesota Statutes 103E.
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 Middle Fork Zumbro River Critical Source Area Restoration Clean Water Fund grant will focus on the implementation of six to eight of the 23 identified and ranked sediment reducing conservation practices identified in two targeted sub-watersheds of the Middle Fork Zumbro River. These six to eight projects will work towards achieving an estimated 49-96 tons of TSS to the impaired Middle Fork Zumbro River and are imperative to the health of the Middle Fork Zumbro River and Lake Zumbro.
Enrollment of private lands in conservation programs can provide important natural resource and other public benefits by taking the lands out of production so that they can provide various wildlife and ecological benefits. This appropriation is enabling Minnesota's Board of Soil and Water Resources to provide grants to local soil and water conservation districts for employment of technical staff to assist private landowners in implementing conservation programs.
Moody Lake is the headwaters of the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District northern flow network, and as such, its water quality sets the stage for downstream waters, particularly Bone Lake, Comfort Lake, the Sunrise River, and ultimately Lake St. Croix. A multi-year diagnostic and implementation feasibility study was conducted in the Moody Lake watershed to prioritize nutrient sources, target cost-effective BMPs, and estimate the measurable phosphorus reductions that will be achieved through implementation of these projects.
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.
Within an 11-county area in southeastern Minnesota, two Nutrient Management Specialists will work directly with producers to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and fecal coliform runoff into surface and ground water in the region and the Mississippi River. The specialists will help producers create or revise nutrient management plans, implement Best Management Practices for manure and fertilizer use, and set up on-farm demonstration projects to support farmer-to-farmer learning.
The City of Lindstrom has identified the subwatershed that includes Pleasant Hill Park as a high priority for a stormwater management project due to the high volume of untreated stormwater discharging directly into South Lindstrom Lake. This is a cooperative project between the City of Lindstrom and the Chisago Lakes Lake Improvement District.
Nitrogen is a serious problem in Minnesota's Mississippi River Basin and the Dodge Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) plans to address this problem through the instillation of six nitrogen reducing agricultural best management practices in the Dodge/Steele Joint County Ditch No. 11 system, also known as the Ripley Ditch system. Agriculture drainage, through the use of agricultural tile drainage systems, has been identified as the number one leading source of nitrogen in the Mississippi River Basin.
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.
The purpose of this project is to provide a new shared position in southeast Minnesota which will accelerate the adoption of soil health practices by leveraging the existing efforts of the National Resources Conservation Service and other organizations.