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.
Recent efforts by Carver County Water Management Organization Staff have centered on removing point sources of bacteria in both Bevens and Carver Creeks. These efforts have shown improvement in water quality; however the creeks are still above the state standard for E. coli. Early results from field surveys have pinpointed areas where livestock have uncontrolled access to streams. Five sites over a twenty mile stretch of Bevens Creek have shown evidence of livestock access to streams and associated damage to streambanks.
The Birdie Lane East Ravine Improvement project consists of eliminating ravine erosion and treatment of an 8.24-acre watershed to reduce total phosphorus reaching Lake Hazeltine by 98 pounds per year. The eroding ravine will be replaced with a linear treatment feature to provide treatment of a watershed that has land uses that include roads, single-family residential, and a golf course. The project will involve development of a cascade, pool, and riffle channel system.
Seminary Fen, a 600-acre complex in Carver County, supports one of only 500 calcareous fens in the world and is one of the highest quality calcareous fens in southern Minnesota. The Fen feeds Assumption Creek; one of the metro area's last known trout streams that supports naturally reproducing native brook trout. Assumption Creek then discharges to the nearby Minnesota River. The Fen's unique hydrology, soils, plants, and habitats are highly sensitive to water quality and sedimentation stress.
In 2002 and 2004, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency listed Bluff Creek for turbidity and biological integrity. A Total Maximum Daily Load report and implementation plan were finalized and approved in 2013. This project was identified as a high priority site for culvert restoration and bank repairs.
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.
The Burandt Lake Stormwater Reuse System (BLSRS) project will install a water reuse system to capture untreated storm water and reduce pollutants entering Burandt Lake. This collaborative project with Carver County, Carver County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), City of Waconia and Independent School District 110 will retain and reuse an estimated 48% of the annual storm water runoff (1.25 million gallons) currently generated from eight acres of adjacent residential neighborhoods.
This project will increase the ability of the Carver County Water Management Organization (CCWMO) to approach local community partners and fund projects that treat stormwater runoff at the source instead of treating stormwater downstream at a regional pond or through other large scale best management practices (BMPs).
The Carver County Planning and Water Management Department (PWM) has an active well sealing cost share program. Following the adoption of the updated County Groundwater Plan in February of 2016, the Carver County Board of Commissioners moved to accelerate the program to encourage landowners to seal abandoned wells. Carver County is looking to supplement existing funds, as demand is expected to increase. With this additional funding, it is the goal of Carver County PWM to seal an additional 15 wells county wide.
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.
The purpose of this project is to install prioritized and targeted best management practices on the Carver County Ditch #6 drainage system that drains directly into Bevens Creek. Bevens Creek does not meet state water quality standards for sediment. The goal of the project is to install 6 grade stabilization structures, 5 grassed waterways, and 2 water and sediment control basins that have been identified through GIS LIDAR applications and field verified along with landowner support.
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).
Carver County has identified water quality improvement of Carver, Bevens and Silver Creek as a water management priority. This project will identify storage or wetland restoration sites that are highly effective at reducing pollutant loading to downstream impaired waters using high-resolution Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data and Geographic Information System (GIS) processes. The watershed landscape has been highly modified for agricultural production land development; less than 50 percent of pre-settlement wetland acres remain in Carver County.
The downtown Chanhassen stormwater best management practice (BMP) retrofit assessment project will reduce watershed phosphorus loads to Rice Marsh Lake and improve the water quality in downstream Lake Riley, impaired for excess nutrients. This project will identify innovative BMP retrofit opportunities that target soluble phosphorus and promote infiltration and groundwater recharge within this highly-developed area. The downtown Chanhassen BMP retrofit assessment project will be performed in partnership with the City of Chanhassen.
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.
The Riley-Purgatory-Bluff-Creek Watershed District and the City of Eden Prairie are working together to implement projects to remove Lake Riley and Rice Marsh Lake from the impaired waters list. One key emerging issue is to evaluate potential internal phosphorous loading within stormwater ponds in the lakes? subwatersheds. This project will also use updated pond data from the city?s intensive pond inspection program to identify other phosphorus reduction opportunities. The proposed assessment will quantify formerly undocumented P loading to Rice Marsh Lake and Lake Riley.
This is a joint grant application from the Riley-Purgatory-Bluff Creek Watershed District (RPBCWD) and the City of Chanhassen. In 2010, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency listed Lake Susan as a shallow lake impaired for excess nutrients. A 2013 report recommended a project located at the park pond immediately northwest of Lake Susan as the most cost-effective watershed implementation project. The project calls for an outlet control structure at a higher elevation that will provide increased dead pool storage and the installation of a Minnesota Filter to treat dissolved phosphorus.
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.
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.