The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Accelerated Prairie Grassland Restoration and Management Program had a successful first round of funding from the Legacy Funds. The program worked through the growing pains and obstacles in getting a new program up and operational and was successful in enhancing nearly 5,800 acres of prairie and grasslands in eight of the ecological subsections of Minnesota. A contractor base has been established for this type of work statewide that needs to be evaluated and expanded on for future appropriations.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Environmental Financial Group Inc. generated a matrix of water conservation programs with detailed information about the costs and benefits of the programs. Tools were also developed to allow users to calculate potential water savings, estimate program implementation costs, and test the effects of various water conservation programs and rate structures.
Per Minnesota Laws, 2009, Chapter 172, Article 4, Section 2, Subd. 5, "Funds in this subdivision are appropriated to the commissioner of the Department of Administration for grants to the named organizations for the purposes specified in this subdivision. Up to one percent of funds may be used by the Department of Administration for grants administration. Grants made to public television or radio organizations are subject to Minnesota Statutes, sections 129D.18 and 129D.19."
Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment raises revenue for Clean Water, Outdoor Heritage, Parks and Trails, and Arts and Cultural Heritage. Libraries are beneficiaries of a portion of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Funding.
This project is designed to reduce sediment in the Wild River River based on a state approved plan (TMDL). The estimated water quality benefits completed by this project are 12,980 (120 truckloads) tons of soil saved per year, which will assist in reducing turbidity impairments downstream on the LWRR.
Minnesota Public Radio is the state's largest cultural organization, providing 96 percent of the population with free access to some of the best broadcast cultural programming in the world. Minnesota Public Radio is using a grant from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund to implement projects around the following four goals:
Our program will protect, in perpetuity, native prairie tracts in western Minnesota. Fee title tracts will be the top priority for the funding. Funding will be used for the purchase of habitat easements if the funding cannot be used entirely on fee title tracts. The funding will purchase approximately 525 acres of native prairie in fee title, 1,583 acres of habitat easements, or a combination of the two.
This project will develop an effective transferable model to engage and educate watershed residents, stakeholders and others to better understand and protect watershed ecostystems through environmental monitoring, training, and formal and informal education programs in their local watershed. The project will build on the foundation of the existing Red River Basin River Watch program by strengthening three main activity areas: 1) curriculum integration and teacher training, 2) youth leadership and civic engagement, and 3) applied research collaboration and watershed science skills building.
This project will monitor nine locations in the major watersheds (8-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes) of the Lower Red River Basin. The stream outlet monitoring will provide the water chemistry data needed to calculate annual pollutant loads. Staff from the Red River Watershed Management Board (RRWMB) will conduct the sampling, initially manage the data and provide the data to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for load calculations and import into the STORET data system.
Minnesota's wetlands provide crucial habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife, assist in flood control, and help maintain water quality. However, the state has lost half the wetlands that existed before European settlement and these drained wetlands have not been mapped as part of the National Wetlands Inventory. This appropriation is enabling efforts by Ducks Unlimited to provide a complement to the National Wetlands Inventory by identifying and mapping drained wetlands that have the potential to be restored to provide their various benefits once again.
This project involves monitoring three data deficient lakes in the Crow Wing River Watershed and one stream site at the inlet to White Earth Lake. The data deficient lakes were on the MPCA Targeted watershed list. After getting the required assessment dataset for these lakes, all targeted lakes in Becker County will be completed for this assessment cycle. The stream site is a site that the White Earth Lake Association and the Becker Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) will monitor. It is the inlet to White Earth Lake.
This project will obtain lab and field data for waterbodies within the Wild Rice Watershed, to meet surface water assessment goals. Data will continue to be collected further upstream of some 2008 sites and enhance current assessment datasets. Some new tributaries, that lack assessment data, will also be monitored. The project goal is to complete the datasets necessary for the assessment of Aquatic Recreation Use for twelve streams in the Wild Rice Watershed.