Vegetated buffer and filter strips along waterways is a practice that addresses many surface water concerns. Establishing permanent vegetation along waterways is an implementation priority in the Blue Earth County Water Management Plan and required by local ordinance and Minnesota Rules. Minnesota Shoreland Rules, Chapter 6120 and the County Shoreland Ordinance contain standards for agricultural uses in shoreland. Agricultural uses are permitted in shoreland areas if steep slopes and shore and bluff impact zones are maintained in permanent vegetation.
Ravine, stream bank and bluff erosion contribute significant amounts of sediment to rivers and streams. The MPCA report, Identifying sediment sources in the Minnesota River Basin, found the Blue Earth and Le Sueur watersheds contribute as such as half of the sediment to the Minnesota River, even though they account for only one-fifth of its drainage area. These watersheds contain the majority of the bluffs in the basin as well as many large
The project will utilize GIS to analyze the Middle Minnesota River Watershed in Renville County to inventory conservation project potential in this watershed, then target priority projects for future funding. This project will create the opportunity to evaluate the watershed using the most advance scientific data available. Conservation practices that will be evaluated are wetland restorations, buffers and filter strips, sediment basins, grass waterways, and grade stabilization structures using LiDAR layers.