As part of the Dakota County Transportation Department's highway 78 road reconstruction project, the Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization is partnering with Dakota County to install a nitrate treatment practice on a tributary to the South Branch Vermillion River adjacent to the road. The South Branch Vermillion River subwatershed is the highest nitrate loading subwatershed in the Vermillion River Watershed and is a significant contributor to contaminated drinking water in the eastern portion of the watershed.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA) along with Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Counties, landowners, and drainage authorities in the ten member counties will install conservation drainage practices to improve water quality. 103E drainage systems with documented sediment or water quality issues are the focus with the goal of installing 52 practices such as improved side inlets (grade stabilization structures), alternative tile inlets, denitrifying bioreactors, saturated buffers, storage wetlands and others.
The Watonwan Watershed Resource Specialist has been funding with Clean Water funds since 2012. Since that time, the Watonwan Watershed Resource Specialist has been a crucial connector between landowners and natural resource professionals in the Watonwan Watershed. As the technical ability and responsibilities of the WWRS expands, the need and urgency to secure extended funding becomes a priority. This project will fund half of the Watonwan Watershed Research Specialist position through year 2020.