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.
This monitoring project includes lake and stream monitoring and encompasses all of Cass County, and surrounding counties. The project will obtain water quality data for streams; in 2009, lakeshed assessments indicated that many surface waters throughout the county were data deficient. This project will address the need for sufficient data on a county-wide basis and fulfill the State’s intensive watershed monitoring program goals by obtaining water quality data at targeted lake and stream sites.
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.
This project will collect a complete Trophic Site Index (TSI) data set for Crow Wing County lakes and a complete data set for streams and rivers for the Intensive Monitoring Program (IMP). Crow Wing County, Cass County, Wadena County, Morrison County and Hubbard County are partnering to ensure that all target lakes and rivers within the Crow Wing River watershed are monitored efficiently.
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.
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:
Paul & Babe’s GeoHunt is a summer-long geocaching event that features unique sites along the 54-mile Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway driving route. The sport of geocaching involves hiding camouflage containers (which are called caches) so that people can look for and find the containers using GPS technology. Once they find the containers, participants collect special cards (found in the caches/containers). After collecting a series of 10 cards, participants can earn a GeoCoin.
Mille Lacs Lake is recognized as one of the premier walleye producing lakes in the world. The current water quality of the lake is good, however recent monitoring of the lake and its watershed indicates the potential to develop problems. Since 1997, the Mille Lacs Lake Watershed Management Group has worked to preserve the water quality of Mille Lacs Lake. Five priority projects were identified by the Group partners in an effort to preserve water quality. Support for these projects was provided by a grant from the Clean Water Fund.
The SWCD initiated Project Recharge to create and apply a protection strategy to address declining water quality trend reported in a 2008 large lakes analysis. The report contained watershed and trend analysis for lakes over 1,000 acres in size and led to targeting of lands located within lakesheds containing the highest ratio of impervious to pervious surfaces. These included the Cities of Breezy Point, Crosslake, and Fifty Lakes.
The Minnesota Soil Survey is an ongoing effort by the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that is systematically collecting and mapping data pertaining to soil types and other soil properties in each county of the state. Soils data is used by governments, farmers, and other businesses for a number of purposes from protection and restoration of soil, water, wetlands, and habitats to agricultural soil management to building construction.
Imminent Health Threat (IHT) systems are those that are discharging improperly treated human waste onto the ground surface or into surface waters. In addition to the potential water quality impacts, untreated sewage has the potential to introduce bacteria and viruses into the environment. When IHT systems are identified, county or city staff assist the homeowners through the process required to bring their systems into compliance with the septic ordinance.
Having current and accurate data on historic and archaeological sites is important to understanding our past and to preserving Minnesota’s history for future generations. In 2010-2011, the Minnesota Historical Society awarded contracts for these survey projects:
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 collect water quality data for 13 Hubbard County lakes located in the Crow Wing priority watershed and identified as priority lakes by the MPCA. Upon completion the project data set will include all of the necessary information for the lakes to be assessed for impairment due to nutrients. Volunteers will collect samples from 7 of the 13 lakes and paid SWCD staff will collect samples from 6 of the lakes that do not have public access or volunteers willing to sample. The water samples will be collected 5 times/year June-September in 2010 and 2011.